High chance of drier than average autumn for eastern Australia following record hot summer
The Bureau of Meteorology has released its updated 2019 Autumn Outlook, showing a high chance of drier than average conditions for most of the country's east and warmer than average conditions for the entire country. It comes on the back of what will be Australia's warmest summer on record.
The Bureau's manager of long-range forecasting Dr Andrew Watkins admitted the outlook wasn't the news many would be wanting to hear.
"It won't come as a surprise to many that this summer will be our warmest on record, but apart from parts of northern Queensland, many locations fell short of their summer rainfall averages too," Dr Watkins said.
"Unfortunately, the outlook isn't giving a strong indication that we'll see above average rainfall in many areas over the autumn period. The only exception is for parts of inland Western Australia.
"Autumn is obviously a critical time of year for the agriculture sector in parts of the country. It's important to remember that despite what the outlook is suggesting, individual heavy rainfall events are always possible, and people should stay up to date with the latest seven-day forecast and warnings for their area."
The outlooks also show a strong chance of warmer than average conditions continuing into and throughout autumn.
"If we have a look at what's driving the outlook, we can see that Australia's two main climate drivers in the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole are currently in a neutral phase, meaning there's no strong influence from either.
"However, we are observing cooler than average waters of the coast of Western Australia and we expect this may influence weather patterns during autumn.
"The other factor is the ongoing influence with of the long-term increases in global air temperatures."
The Bureau will be releasing its summer summaries tomorrow afternoon (Friday, March 1) but preliminary figures show the recent summer period will be Australia's warmest on record and among the top ten driest on record.
It's also expected the current summer period will be among the top five warmest on record for each state and territory.
View the latest outlook: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks/#/overview/summary
Download video of today's media conference.
Videos and maps are also available: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/