Seasonal outlook

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) produce a weekly tropical note, as well as three month climate predictions, both available on their website. Their predictions for the coming months include:

  • January to March 2020 daytime temperatures are very likely to be above average across Australia.
  • January to March 2020 nights very likely to be warmer than average apart from the southeast.
  • Below average rain over northern Australia in December 2019. There is still no tropical trough south of the equator—this is usually well established by this time of the year and is a precursor to the monsoon. This suggests there is a high probability of a delayed monsoon onset for Australia in 2019–20.
  • For the Top End, rainfall is predicted to return to average conditions from January to March.

You can watch their climate and water outlook on the Bureau of Meteorology YouTube channel.

What does this mean?

The Long Paddock is a Queensland Government initiative, which maps the likely pasture growth across Australia based on climate predictions. The latest forecasted pasture growth from AussieGRASS suggests that between December 2019 and February 2020 there will be lower than average growth (bottom 33 per cent of all years) for most of the NT except for the Top End which will have average to above pasture growth. You can see their maps on the Long Paddock webpage and watch the videos explaining what they mean.

Water levels

Water level information is available from the Darwin Rural Groundwater Watch webpage. The NT Government releases graphs of the water tables levels over time, updated at the end of each month. The majority of the NT’s water supply (90 per cent) is from groundwater, which is recharged through rain during the wet season. Drier than average wet seasons can significantly impact water levels.

More information?

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), CSIRO and Farm Link have published a series of information sheets on regional weather. They break down their explanations on rainfall, temperature, evaporation and changes over the past 30 years. You can read more in their Top End regional weather and climate guide.

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