Glimmer of hope for rain as conditions change

Glimmer of hope for rain as conditions change


Cropping
DRY ARGUMENT: Farmers are still to see an autumn break, but signs are beginning to lean towards useful rains eventually arriving.

DRY ARGUMENT: Farmers are still to see an autumn break, but signs are beginning to lean towards useful rains eventually arriving.

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Forecasters are hinting changing conditions might see useful rains soon.

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The forecast is still set for an El Nino to occur, but it is now likely to be weaker and shorter lasting.

That was the latest from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) last week as April nears its end and minimal rain has been recorded over most cropping areas of Victoria, the Riverina and SA.

The BoM's ENSO Outlook, released last Tuesday, remained at El Nino alert.

That meant the chance of El Nino developing in the coming months was about 70 per cent - or around triple the normal likelihood.

BoM head of long range forecasts Dr Andrew Watkins said going off recent data, there was no real suggestion of rain.

Conditions "at this stage" had outlooks suggesting there wasn't a great deal of rain on the horizon, rather "average at best", Dr Watkins said.

He said that while ocean temperatures were "just touching on El Nino", the data was not showing the weather patterns associated with reinforcing an El Nino.

He said there were positive signs that an El Nino would not persist over winter.

BoM will update its climate outlook on Friday.

AV Weather forecaster Anthony Viali was optimistic about the prospects for good rains this cropping season.

Mr Viali said with the warming of the Indian Ocean, he expected the development of rain bearing fronts coming from the north-west.

Limited rainfall so far had been impacted by the presence of La Nina-like and El Nino-like conditions.

The fight between atmosphere and ocean conditions was beginning to resolve.

The Indian Ocean was the most important driver for winter and spring weather for Victoria, he said.

"It will develop into a proper La Nina later in the season," he said.

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