Variability of southeast Queensland rainfall and climate indices

Murphy, Bradley F. and Ribbe, Joachim ORCID: (2004) Variability of southeast Queensland rainfall and climate indices. International Journal of Climatology, 24 (6). pp. 703-721. ISSN 0899-8418

PDF (Accepted Version)

Download (160kB)


This paper presents a study of variability of climate indices and rainfall in southeast Queensland (SE Qld). Using high-resolution gridded rainfall data for all of Australia and global sea surface temperatures (SST), the relationship between rainfall Australia-wide and in SE Qld in particular with SST indices and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) have been investigated. It is found that SE Qld is more subject to the breakdown of correlations between the SOI and rainfall than any other part of Australia. Model predictions suggest that this is probable in the future.
Considering only timescales longer than interannual, it was found that SSTs in the central tropical Pacific Ocean (TPO) (represented by the Nino-4 index) correlated best with SE Qld rainfall. Eastern TPO (Nino-3) SSTs and the SOI produced successively weaker correlations. The time series of the second modes of variability of SSTs over the Pacific and Indian Oceans were shown to have limited impact on SE Qld rainfall variability.
The data was split into periods before and after 1946, when Australian mean rainfall changed (Pittock, 1975). While the SOI correlations with rainfall in SE Australia were similar in both periods, in SE Qld the correlations were very weak in the earlier period (0.06) but very strong in the latter (0.72). The Nino-4 index correlated better than the Nino-3 index in both periods, but they showed smaller changes from the earlier to the latter periods than the SOI.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 1073
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.: This is the author-version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use only. Please refer to the journal for the definitive, published version.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:34
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate variability; rainfall; El Nino; southern oscillation; Queensland; Australia; sea surface temperature
Fields of Research (2008): 04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040605 Palaeoclimatology
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
Fields of Research (2020): 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3709 Physical geography and environmental geoscience > 370904 Palaeoclimatology
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3702 Climate change science > 370202 Climatology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960203 Weather
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only