ITíS no surprise I am writing about the weather at this time of year; itís an annual event really.

Some years, I am writing about how great it is we have had an early burst of heavy rain and all the big river catchments are flooding nicely.

Other years, I am writing about how much we need the wet season to get going and hopefully it wonít be too far away.

This is one of those ďother yearsĒ. Thereís been a bit of rain about but nothing heavily monsoonal ó plus itís been localised.

So whatís the prognosis?

I had a chat on Boxing Day to Bradley Wood who is the meteorologist for the Darwin Bureau of Meteorology, and the news is promising.

Apparently, thanks to a strong MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation) in our region, the weather is being enhanced.

Bradley said there was a monsoon trough developing off the Top End north coast with the likelihood of a tropical low forming.

ďConditions could be favourable for a cyclone to develop towards New Year,Ē Bradley told me.

ďWeíre not sure where it might form if it does but the best bet is the Gulf of Carpentaria.

ďThe MJO is very strong at the moment and should hang around until the first week in January but we canít know yet whether the Top End will get a strong monsoonal flow.

ďThere is some model variation as to whether the monsoon trough will drift over the Top End.Ē Bradley explained.

Basically, itís fingers-crossed time because if we donít get a serious rain belting over the next week or so, the pattern will revert back to typical storm weather as in the Build-Up and we might not see another monsoon for a month or more.

On a more definite note, you have to at least Sunday to plan a fishing trip.

The tides are making neaps so river mouths and potentially big barra action come into play.

Sunday is a three-tide day with low tide around first light, depending on where you are.

The tides are actually well suited to Leeders Creek, Adelaide River mouth, Shady Camp, the mouth of the South Alligator River and the Finniss River mouth.

Shoal Bay in the vicinity of King Creek could also be a good choice.

Just be aware that, as the weather pattern strengthens, there may be thunderstorms and conditions are favourable for squall line development.

That being so, long trips offshore may not be wise.

The long-range forecast for Sunday is not much rain at all in the Darwin region, with light winds.

However, donít discount the storm potential.

I hope you all catch some fish as we see the year out but be especially careful on the water through New Year.