25 September 2023

Weather Bureau forecasts warm, dry winter

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The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has forecast a warmer and drier winter for most of Australia in its latest winter climate outlook.

Manager of Long-range Forecasting at BoM, Andrew Watkins said the Bureau’s outlook showed that eastern and central Australia were unlikely to receive the above average rainfall many had been hoping for.

“Winter is shaping up to be drier than average for most of eastern Australia, with warmer than average days very likely for much of the country,” Dr Watkins said.

“Southeastern Australia could see a dry start to winter, with the models showing June rainfall is likely to be below average in NSW, Victoria, eastern South Australia, and southern parts of both Queensland and the Northern Territory.”

He said that in other parts of the country, there was no strong swing towards an exceptionally wetter or drier-than-average June.

“Drier than average conditions typically mean more cloud-free nights, which increases the risk of frost in susceptible areas,” Dr Watkins said.

“Winter nights are very likely to be warmer than average in Tasmania, along the mainland’s southeast coast, and northern Western Australia stretching through parts of the Northern Territory.”

He said the outlook was currently at El Niño Watch, meaning the likelihood of El Niño developing in 2019 was around 50 per cent, or double the normal risk for this time of year.

He said El Niño events typically meant reduced rainfall for eastern Australia during winter and spring.

“Significantly, models predict a positive Indian Ocean Dipole will develop in June, and persist through winter and into spring,” Dr Watkins said.

“This would typically bring below average winter-spring rainfall and snowfall to southern and central Australia, and warmer temperatures to much of the country.”

He said the forecast did not mean there would be no rainfall over winter, but it did support the model outlook for a drier than average winter, with the possibility of more evaporation than normal.

Two-minute video and audio interviews with Dr Watkins discussing the bureau’s winter outlook can be accessed at these PS News links: Audio. Video.

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