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Still plain sailing with climatic indicators
The main climatic influences that effect the longer-term forecast of Australian weather show little change, itself a sign of the current stability.
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which determines our likelihood of moving into El Niño or La Niña conditions, remains neutral with all models surveyed by the BoM indicating it will stay that way for the remainder of 2017. This is despite central tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures 0.5° above normal. However, this area of warmer water is a localised warm anomaly, and the overall temperature pattern is inconsistent with development of an El Niño.
The Indian Ocean Dipole also remains neutral with only one of the six models surveyed forecasting it will go positive for long enough to reduce winter and spring rainfall across southern and central Australia. On balance, the BoM believes it will remain in a neutral state.
The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) reappeared over the Indian Ocean last week, stimulating heavy rain in India from the Southwest Monsoon and the development of tropical storm Talas, which brought flooding rain to parts of SE Asia. However, most models suggest the MJO will persist over the Indian Ocean at relatively weak levels although some are indicating a marginal strengthening. The MJO has little effect on northern Australia during the winter months.
Full details can be found in the Bureau's ENSO Wrap-Up and Weekly Tropical Note, issued yesterday.
Cold with rain and snow in the SE while hot in other parts
A series of cold fronts and troughs has moved over SE Australia during the past two days, bringing a few heavy falls of rain, good snow to the VIC and NSW Alps and also light snow to lower levels northwards up the NSW ranges. QLD, the NT and WA were unusually warm for July.
An area around Adelaide's Mt Lofty has had two days of heavy rain on 17 to 19 July. To 09.00 yesterday morning (18 July), Bridgewater, Lobethal, Hahndorf and Balhannah all had between 48 and 54mm in the gauge with some new records for newer stations. To 09.00 this morning, Mt Lofty itself recorded 40mm and a number of gauges in the area reported only a little less. In the Barossa Valley, Greenock and Nuriootpa had their wettest July day in over 15 years with 31.0 and 30.8mm.
Tasmania has also seen some good falls as a complex trio of low pressure systems moved under and over the island and through Bass Strait. The heaviest were in the north, but the most remarkable was 13.0mm in Hobart to 09.00 today, the city's heaviest one-day total in six months.
Cold air moved into VIC and southern NSW yesterday and today, bringing 15 to 30cm of snow to the resorts. The cold air continued north today, with cloud keeping top temperatures very low up the NSW Divide and reports of light snow at Shooters Hill S of Oberon, Yetholme and Sunny Corner between Lithgow and Bathurst, Barrington Tops 100km N of Newcastle, and around Guyra on the Northern Tablelands.
Meanwhile, in an arc around the northern half of the country, the days have been unusually warm. In WA, Perth had its equal sixth warmest July day since record-keeping began 120 years ago with a top of 25.0° yesterday - the last time it was this warm in July was in 1999. Records for high July maximum temperatures were set across WA, the NT, QLD and even into northern NSW Yesterday (Tuesday) and today ahead of the colder change in the east.