Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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A warmer and drier than average winter likely for most of Australia


As much of the country shivers through a cold end to autumn, the Bureau's winter outlook shows the next three months are likely to be warmer and drier than average for large parts of the nation.

The Bureau of Meteorology's winter climate outlook, released today, shows that eastern and central Australia is unlikely to receive the above average rainfall many have been hoping for.

The Bureau's manager of long-range forecasting Dr Andrew Watkins said winter was shaping up to be drier than average for most of eastern Australia, with warmer than average days very likely for much of the country.

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

"In other parts of the country, there is 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 temperatures across the rest of winter were very likely to be warmer than average.

"Our climate outlook shows most states and territories have large areas where chances are greater than 80 per cent for warmer than average days," he said.

"Winter nights are very likely to be warmer than average in Tasmania, along the mainland's southeast coast, and northern WA stretching through parts of the NT."
The Bureau's ENSO Outlook is currently at El Niño WATCH, meaning the likelihood of El Niño developing in 2019 is around 50 per cent – or double the normal risk for this time of year. El Niño events typically mean reduced rainfall for eastern Australia during winter-spring.

Significantly, models predict a positive Indian Ocean Dipole will develop in June, and persist through winter and into spring. This would typically bring below average winter-spring rainfall and snowfall to southern and central Australia, and warmer temperatures to much of the country.

"This certainly doesn’t mean we will have no rainfall over winter – it is the southern wet season after all - but it does support the model outlook for a drier than average winter, with the possibility of more evaporation than normal," Dr Watkins said.

"In terms of snow cover - historically depths are lower in late winter and spring during positive Indian Ocean Dipole snow seasons, but on the flip side, the drier and colder air at night make for great snow making conditions."

The Bureau's autumn summaries will be released on Monday, 3 June but preliminary figures show autumn 2019 is likely to go down as one of Australia's five warmest autumns on record.
Daytime temperatures have been much warmer to very much warmer than average for much of Australia, with the only exception being near average temperatures in Queensland away from the south.

View the latest outlook:

Videos and maps are also available:

Click below to download video and audio interviews with Bureau manager of long-range forecasting Dr Andrew Watkins discussing the provisional figures :

National AUDIO | VIDEO


Victoria AUDIO | VIDEO

Queensland AUDIO | VIDEO

Tasmania AUDIO | VIDEO

Northern Territory AUDIO | VIDEO

Western Australia AUDIO | VIDEO

South Australia AUDIO | VIDEO