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Hope remains for improved weather outlook in drought-hit western Qld

By Chrissy Arthur, Thursday August 21, 2014 - 10:22 EST

A leading climate scientist says there are some indications of improved seasonal conditions for parts of Queensland's west.

Professor Roger Stone, from the University of Southern Queensland, is speaking at a beef industry renewal summit in Longreach this afternoon.

He says while models are still pointing to an El Nino for parts of the state, there are other systems being monitored, particularly for the area west of a line from Charleville to Cloncurry.

"The areas west of the highway look somewhat better - the risk of drought is receding, I would put it that way," he said.

"The rainfall probabilities from the European model I am looking at as we speak come up about average, roughly on a line, imagine a line from Charleville, to Longreach, Cloncurry - west of that line looks okay for a reasonable sort of wet season, east of that line, you get above normal rain in 20 per cent of years.

"One [model] is called the QBO [quasi-biennial oscillation] - more so for the western part of the state, roughly west of a line from Longreach.

"Cloncurry and so on, that's gone into a more favourable situation over the last couple of months.

"For those regions, it is looking a bit better west of the highway.

"East of the highway though in the area stretching back towards the coast, as all the models are still showing some sort of El Nino to develop."


© ABC 2014

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