Seasonal Update - March 2018

Chris Materne, Pastoral Production, Alice Springs

Weak La Niña predicted to end in autumn!

The La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean continues to decline. This weak event has had little effect on Australian climate and is expected to decay by early autumn. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. In addition to the natural drivers such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole, Australian climate patterns are being influenced by the long-term increasing trend in global air and ocean temperatures.

The national outlook for March to May 2018 indicates that:

  • Drier than average conditions are expected across central Australia
  • Hotter daily and nightly temperature are expected across central Australia

For further information go to the Bureau of Meteorology Website.

Figure 1: Chance of above the median rainfall. (March to May 2018  Figure 2: Chance of above the median maximum  temperature. (March to May 2018) 
Figure 1: Chance of above the median rainfall. (March to May 2018 Figure 2: Chance of above the median maximum  temperature. (March to May 2018)
Northern Territory Pastoral Districts
Indicator Southern Alice Springs Plenty Northern Alice Springs Tennant Creek Comments
2017/18 Total pasture growth Arrows indicate trend compared to the long-term median.
Current estimated standing biomass Arrows indicated trend since previous quarter.
Current fire risk Arrows indicate the trend since the previous quarter.
Current seasonal outlook Arrows indicate the trend since previous quarter and consider forecasted model predictions.

Legend

Increasing Trend = ↑
Decreasing Trend = ↓
Steady = ↔

Green = low risk
Orange = watch
Red = high risk

Last updated: 27 March 2018