Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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Climate and Weather conversation: January rainfall Feb 3 2020


Senior Meteorologist, Dr Adam Morgan and Head of Climate Prediction, Dr Andrew Watkins, discuss Australia's January rainfall and the weather and climate systems which brought it about. They also look ahead to the rainfall forecast for this week.

Key points include:

- January rainfall was above average for Western Australia and Tasmania, but below average for New South Wales, South Australia and the Murray Darling Basin as a whole, including many drought affected regions. Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory recorded near average rainfall totals.

- While the rainfall was welcome for many areas, several months of sustained above average rainfall are still needed to overturn the significant long-term rainfall deficiencies being experienced in many regions.

- The Bureau's January to March outlook indicated the key climate drivers keeping the continent very dry were beginning to breakdown, and that the odds of seeing more average rainfall conditions from January and into February were increased.

- The wet season across the north means there is the chance of tropical moisture being drawn south at times, such as when tropical cyclones move down the coast, resulting in greater variability in rainfall totals from place to place and month to month.