Graziers warned of wet weather, cold wind

Graziers warned of wet weather, cold wind

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The arrival of a vigorous cold front in the second week of the month, delivered follow up rainfall that increased May-to-date totals above 50 millimetres for much of Victoria's south and east.

The arrival of a vigorous cold front in the second week of the month, delivered follow up rainfall that increased May-to-date totals above 50 millimetres for much of Victoria's south and east.

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The arrival of a vigorous cold front in the second week of the month, delivered follow up rainfall that increased May-to-date totals above 50mm.

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Recent rainfall has primed the landscape to make the most of the coming inflow season.

But can we bank on follow up rainfall?

Parts of north-eastern Victoria and NSW's Riverina Murray received their average monthly rainfall in the first week of May.

The arrival of a vigorous cold front in the second week of the month, delivered follow up rainfall that increased May-to-date totals above 50 millimetres for much of Victoria's south and east.

The cold front also delivered snow down to 1000 metres and a farmers and graziers warning due to the combination of wet weather and cold winds.

April root zone (zero to one metre depth) soil moisture was around lowest on record in parts of north-western, central and south-eastern Victoria after a dry start to the year.

Now, root zone soil moisture is closer to average for much of the north.

Typically, water storage levels in Victoria stop falling around May and begin to increase through winter and into the start of spring.

The improved soil moisture potentially means increased run-off into rivers when we get rainfall.

However, the Bureau's seasonal streamflow forecasts suggest low to near-median flows are more likely for the coming months.

So, will it keep raining? Both the Bureau's one-month June outlook, and the three-month winter outlook, show below average rainfall is likely for the northern half of Victoria.

But the May outlook had low chances for above average rainfall too; a reminder that one-month and three-month rainfall outlooks aren't guarantees of above or below average rainfall.

Forecasts for the week ahead can give greater detail than seasonal outlooks.

International climate models, including Australia's, have had some good reasons to suggest drier than average conditions in the coming months.

The Pacific Ocean has been hovering around the El Nio threshold for the past two months, but the atmosphere hasn't shown a consistent El Nio weather pattern.

Meanwhile, the models have been getting keener on a positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole developing over winter.

Both El Nio and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole typically mean below average winter rainfall for Victoria.

When El Nio coincides with a positive Indian Ocean Dipole, the two phenomena can reinforce their dry impacts.

- Jonathan Pollock, BOM climatologist

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