LESS rain and warmer temperatures – that’s the Bureau of Meteorology’s official outlook for winter.
The Bureau released its 2018 Winter Outlook on Thursday, predicting warmer and drier than average conditions across large parts of the country over the next three months.
It follows one of Australia’s warmest autumns on record and its second-warmest summer on record. Southern mainland Australia has also had one of its driest autumns on record.
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The outlook suggests winter rainfall is likely to be below average for New South Wales, South Australia, northern Victoria and western parts of Western Australia.
Drier conditions are particularly likely around the Murray Darling Basin and eastern NSW where there is a 70-80 per cent chance of below average rainfall during the winter months.
Elsewhere across the country, the chances of exceeding average rainfall are roughly 50 per cent.
Daytime temperatures across much of the country are likely to be warmer than average, with the greatest chance of warmer days in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Overnight temps are also expected to be above average, except for parts of the tropical north.
Bureau climatologist Jonathan Pollock said Australia’s main climate drivers, El-Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are currently in a neutral phase.
“We’re expecting warmer than normal temperatures in the Tasman Sea this winter and associated lower-than-normal air pressure,” Mr Pollock said.
“This would mean a weakening of westerly winds over southern Australia that normally draw cold fronts up from the Southern Ocean.
“As a result of this, we’re expecting to see below average winter rainfalls for western parts of Western Australia and for most of New South Wales extending across the border into southern Queensland and northern Victoria.
For most other parts the chances of above or below average rainfall is roughly equal.”
Mr Pollock said snowfall would also be of particular interest as we head into winter.
“Snowfall is difficult to predict over long time frames but the dry outlook for June suggests a later than normal start for the snow season.
“However, when ENSO and IOD are neutral we have historically seen deeper-than-average snow cover by mid-season.”
The Bureau is expected to release its summary for autumn on Friday.
To view the winter outlook in full, click here.