Changes to Manual Observations by the Bureau

Improvements in the Bureau of Meteorology’s automated observation systems are delivering more frequent observations to rural and regional Australians. Many observations which were taken daily or once every three hours are now taken continuously, and the number of forecasts and other products will continue to increase once the Bureau’s new supercomputer comes online in mid-2016, enhancing data analysis capabilities.

Due to advances in automated observations and improving technology, the Bureau undertook an internal review of its observations network and field offices around the country. Through this review, the Bureau identified duplication between manual and automated observations in several locations, as well as several types of observations which have few or no users. As part of improving its practices, the Bureau has ceased manual recording of observations which are also taken by automated system from April 28th 2016.

El Niño drawing closer to an end

The tropical Pacific Ocean has weakened to borderline El Niño-neutral levels. Sea surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific Ocean cooled further in the past fortnight, driven by cooler than average waters below the surface.

Based on recent changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean and atmosphere, combined with current climate model outlooks, the Bureau’s ENSO Outlook remains at La Niña WATCH. This means the likelihood of La Niña forming later in 2016 is around 50%.

Climate Summary April 2016



There was a mixed bag of weather in April this year including thunder, mist, fog, haze interspersed with sunshine and showers. The month’s total rainfall was 69.4 mm, recorded over 14 days, representing 111 mm below the 121 year average.  Maximum 24 hour rainfall was 15.4 mm on the last day of the month. The highest April  rainfall ever officially recorded at Maleny was in 1989 with 1051 mm, and the maximum daily was 394 mm on 19th 1928

The mean temperature for the month was 20.3ºC, which is 3.2ºC below the norm. Maximum temperature was 27.9ºC and minimum of 14.4ºC, when climatological extremes were 30.4ºC in 2006 and 6.6ºC in 2008 respectfully.


April 2016 Climate

April 2016)

Rainfall during El Nino events

The map below shows the winter/spring mean rainfall for twelve El Nino episodes.

El Nino enters its final week

The 2015–16 El Niño is in its last stages. Recent changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean and atmosphere, combined with current climate model outlooks, suggest the likelihood of La Niña forming later in 2016 is around 50%, meaning the Bureau’s ENSO Outlook is at La Niña WATCH.

Australian Patterns of Rainfall Patterns during El Nino

New Picture (17)

March 2016 Weather Summary

The synoptic chart in the first week of March shows a high pressure system centred over the middle of the continent and determining the weather pattern for most of the country. An exception was for a low pressure surface trough developing in the monsoonal trough line which brought rain down Queensland east coast. At Maleny, 30 mm  of rain fell in two days.

In the second week the high dissipated and replaced by a series of lows coming in from the west and a southerly drift of the monsoonal trough line into the NT and Cape York. This resulted in three weeks of precipitation at Maleny bringing the total monthly rainfall to 167.2 mm, representing 126 mm below the norm.

The mean temperature was 22.3ºC, representing 2.7ºC below the norm. The month  maximum was 29.8º C ; with the highest ever recorded on March 11tin 2007 with 34.6 ºc

March Climate 2016 – 5 years

March 2016 5yr)

Maleny’s February 2016 Climate

A significant feature on the synoptic charts in the first week of February showed  the monsoonal trough line was firmly established  across the northern  territory. A series of lows brought torrential rains and strong winds.  Out in the Coral Sea one of the lows developed into a Category One TC Tatiana, with a south-east  track toward the Queensland  coast. When it was about 1000 km  off Fraser Island the cyclone lost its source of energy and turned into a rain depression.  There was no threat to the Sunshine Coast, but it did bring  in some good surfing waves.

Total rainfall for the month was 122.8 mm, representing 211.5 mm below February’s average over 121 years.  We had 25 days with precipitation   of over 0.2 mm and 12 days  of over 2.0 mm

The Met Office in England is  expected to confirm the average temperature in England and Wales  for the winter of 2015 – 2016 to be the warmest since  records began in 1910.