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bom 3-month rainfall forecast

  1. zwu
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    ***Three-month Seasonal Climate Outlook Statement***
    ***Rainfall probabilities for January to March 2003***
    Issued 17th December 2002

    ***Rainfall odds mostly neutral for the March quarter***

    According to the Bureau’s National Climate Centre, rainfall odds for the first three months of the new year are near 50:50 across most of the country with no strong swings towards wetter or drier conditions. There are however two exceptions: an enhanced chance of below average falls in northeast Australia, and an enhanced chance of above average falls in parts of SA. These probabilities have mainly resulted from the current El Niño pattern of above average Pacific Ocean temperatures.

    The chances of above median rainfall for the January to March period are only 35 to 40% in parts of northern and central Queensland, meaning that BELOW median falls have a 60 to 65% chance of occurring. The reverse is true for some of southern and central South Australia, that is, ABOVE median falls have a 60 to 65% of occurring. On a cautionary note though, the statistical outlook scheme has generally low reliability in these areas for this period.

    So with climate patterns like the current, about 6 seasons out of 10 are expected to be drier than average in north Queensland, whilst about 4 out of 10 are wetter. The reverse logic applies in southern SA.

    January to March is the period when the impact from El Niño on Australian rainfall most commonly breaks down with a return to average to above average totals. There are four points to note regarding this:

    (a) there are no guarantees - it may be after March or before January;
    (b) this is not a prediction of when the drought will break, as that may take several months of sustained above average falls in some areas;
    (c) in all likelihood the breakdown will not occur uniformly across all drought affected areas;
    (d) the main El Niño indicators (SOI, sea-surface temperatures, trade winds) may return to neutral values a few months after the change in Australian rainfall patterns. Regular updates of the progress of the El Niño are available on the El Niño Wrap-Up page.

    More information on this outlook is available from 9:00am to 5:30pm (EDT) Monday to Friday by contacting the following climate meteorologists in the National Climate Centre:

    Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527
    David Jones on (03) 9669 4085
    Blair Trewin on (03) 9669 4603 (Mobile: 0419 587174)
    Neil Plummer on(03) 9669 4086 (Mobile: 0419 117865 from 9am to 7pm)

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