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May rainfall totals close to average

A late May deluge brought the month’s rainfall figures close to par in many northern Victorian districts.

June 3, 2014 3:00am

Photographer Rene Martens captured this image of threatening weather at Chesney Vale near Benalla last week.


At Shepparton a total of 53mm fell for the month, which was close to average, but a further 32mm was recorded last Sunday which is recorded in June’s figures.

The outcome was similar for many other towns.

At Echuca 52mm was recorded, with a further 33mm on Sunday.

For other centres: Benalla 28mm for May (Sunday 16mm), Kerang 26mm (Sunday 8mm), Kyabram 69mm (Sunday 27mm), Mangalore 50mm (Sunday 31mm), Tocumwal 45mm (Sunday 31mm).

The Bureau of Meteorology says the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is currently neutral, with patterns in the tropical Pacific Ocean and atmosphere consistent with the early stages of a developing El Niño.

Despite two climate models (BoM and MeteoFrance) easing their prediction slightly during the past month, all but one of the eight surveyed models indicate an El Niño is likely to develop by the Southern Hemisphere spring.

The bureau says El Niño is often, but not always, associated with below-average rainfall during the second half of the year across large parts of southern and inland eastern Australia.

Daytime temperatures also tend to be above average over southern Australia.

The Indian Ocean Dipole is also neutral. Current model outlooks suggest the IOD will remain neutral throughout winter, but are showing a weak trend towards a positive IOD in spring.

A positive IOD event increases the chance of below-average rainfall across much of central and southern Australia, and can therefore exacerbate rainfall impacts should it coincide with an El Niño event.

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