Fairly benign weather at the moment which is great for people needing to get things sorted in the outdoors, with what you see today being repeated for the days ahead, making forecasting relatively easy for the short term.

But conditions are set to shift into the medium term, and this is where the forecasting becomes tricky. We have the SAM expected to turn more positive and the MJO moving around into phase across northern Australia. The lingering La Nina is also in play and all of these will combine to bring more wet weather as we end the month and kick off March.

So lets take a look at those details and much more, who is in the firing line first!?


Rainfall Next 10 Days

Models are generally in agreement of the drier spell lasting through the weekend for many areas, only very isolated showers and thunderstorms at times over the inland, more scattered about northwest, northern and northeast parts of the nation. Showers could be heavy at times along the QLD coast north of Hervey Bay with a trough nearby, combining with onshore winds. But for the most part the bulk of the wet weather starts to emerge in the final few days of February with the MJO rolling around into phase over northern Australia and the SAM turning positive. Both of these will provide the wet weather opportunities across the country as we move through the end of the month with more moisture and low pressure across the country. How that looks specifically will become more clearer as we move through the week.

Thunderstorm Forecast Monday

A wave of energy across the northern tropics may produce scattered to numerous thunderstorms, with the risk of damaging winds from Sunday evening through Monday morning. The thunderstorm risk over northwest WA beginning to contract further north and northeast as ridging begins to strengthen south of the state. A few thunderstorms along the Wide Bay and to about Yeppoon may produce heavy falls on the extreme coastal fringe.

Thunderstorm Forecast Tuesday

A push of dry air over the tropical north from the east will see a reduction in convection and the focus of thunderstorms should be across the northwest of the nation. Some storms may be gusty. A broad area of isolated thundery shower activity under the ridge is possible over outback areas in high heat on Tuesday afternoon. Along the Central QLD coast, showers and thunderstorms are likely along the coast in the vicinity of a trough offshore. Storms may produce moderate rainfall.

Thunderstorm Forecast Wednesday

Thunderstorms are likely to fire over the northwest of the nation near a trough but no severe weather is expected at this time. A convergence zone over the Great Dividing Range in QLD may also be the focus for afternoon showers and thunderstorms with some moderate to heavy falls but no severe weather is expected here. Isolated to scattered high based thundery showers are possible over a broad area of the southeast near a slow moving trough, with light rainfall and lightning.


Southern Annular Mode - Next 2 Weeks

The SAM has returned to neutral values today and you can see the climb to the positive phase by the end of the week into the weekend and there are indications that the humidity and rainfall coverage begins to increase next week over eastern Australia as a result. The SAM is likely to remain near positive values throughout the remainder of the month which would keep the rainfall chances over the east coast near seasonal to above seasonal. The stronger the positive SAM, the more rainfall expected.

MJO - Next 2 Weeks

Latest data suggesting that the MJO will pass through the nation over the course of the next 2 weeks with heavy rainfall chances coming up, a reduction in the dry and hot weather for much of the subtropics and more cloud cover and windy weather developing. Through this period, there is a higher chance of cyclonic activity developing north of Australia. The build up to the monsoon continues over Northern Australia this week, with limited shower and thunderstorm activity and above average temperatures. Once the MJO is in the region, you will see more moisture and rainfall descending southwards from northern Australia. Can already see that on some of the medium term charts.

DATA - Refer to the video for more details on the daily breakdown

Euro 12Z - Surface Pressure Pattern and Rainfall Distribution - Next 10 Days

The weather is expected to be fairly quiet as we go through the coming working week, though the Euro does place an upper level system near SA and drifts that into VIC mid to late week which could bring a few showers and storms, will watch that trend. Overall most places should be drier and settled as advertised. However, with the climate drivers above starting to shift into wetter phases, it is likely to see rainfall chances increasing across the nation as we move through the next 7 days. The last week of February is looking more unsettled and more humid over northern and eastern Australia.

Euro 12Z - Precipitable Water Values - Next 10 Days

You can see the moisture comes back throughout the period, but the issue that we are seeing with that moisture being utilised is the lack of low pressure to lift it into showers and thunderstorms. We will see some showers and thunderstorms again throughout the nation from about a week from now, thanks for more humid air descending from the north and east creeping southwards.

Euro 12Z - Rainfall Accumulation - Next 10 Days

Refer to video for more information

GFS 12Z - Rainfall Accumulation - Next 10 Days

Refer to video for more information

CMC 12Z - Rainfall Accumulation - Next 10 Days

Refer to video for more information

Euro 12Z - Rainfall Accumulation - Next 15 Days

Refer to video for more information

GFS 12Z - Rainfall Accumulation - Next 16 Days

Refer to video for more information

Plenty more coming up today and throughout the week as we move into a pretty important time for many of you on the land. Make sure you stay up to date!