Grazing conditions in the Mallee and Wimmera are likely to start to improve following the recent
rain. But farmers will be looking for follow-up falls soon.
The outlook for Victoria in autumn shows no strong push towards a wetter or direr than average
season ahead. The one-month outlook for March has slightly increased chances of above average
rainfall for much of the State but April is mostly neutral.
In a typical autumn, northwest Victoria receives about 50 mm, while parts of the south, far east, and
elevated areas record more than 200 mm.
The neutral rainfall outlook for autumn across Victoria, and indeed across much of Australia, is
because our major climate drivers, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole, are
likely to remain neutral through autumn.
The Southern Annular Mode (SAM), the non-seasonal northward or southward shift of the westerly
winds over the Southern Ocean, is likely to remain neutral in the coming fortnight. We're moving
into the time of year when SAM has its minimum influence on temperature and rainfall patterns
over southern Australia.
The 50:50 rainfall outlook is also consistent with the Bureau of Meteorology's climate model forecast
for close to normal mean sea level pressure over Victoria during autumn. The model is also showing
slightly more cloud over the State in March but no large shift from average for the season overall.
Collectively, water storages on the east and south coast of Victoria are at a similar level to this time
last year. Water storages inland, in the Murray-Darling Basin have declined. Overall, Victorian water
storage is 42.2% full, 7.9% lower than this time last year. Accessible water volumes across the whole
Murray-Darling Basin are currently 31.2%, 8.0% lower than this time last year. However, soil
moisture levels are generally higher than this time last year across most of the state.
Temperatures are likely to remain close to or slightly warmer than usual in the coming months. Both
April and autumn overall are likely to have warmer days than average in parts, but most of the State
has a 50:50 outlook for March. Minimum temperatures too are likely to be warmer than average in
April and autumn and warmer than average in the south and east during March.