Australia’s Autumn weather: What to expect
After a turbulent summer and sweaty start to the new year, which saw the national mean temperature rise 2.91 degrees in January, it is no surprise days and nights in Autumn are predicted to be warmer than average.
That is the latest from the Bureau of Meteorology, which states in its climate outlook the upcoming season - from March 1 to May 31 - is likely to be a mix of being wetter than average and drier than average, depending on the part of Australia.
In southern WA and southern SA, BOM is predicting a 60 to 70 per cent chance of being wetter than average. That goes for western and central parts of Victoria and NSW too, and large parts of inland WA.
However, scattered parts of northern Australia - the NT and QLD - and northern WA are likely to have a 60 to 70 per cent chance of having a drier month, and 75 per cent in northern WA.
BOM predicts a similar pattern for rainfall in March, with a drier than average month across much of northern Australia and a wetter month across most of the southern mainland - southern WA, southern SA, western Victoria and southwest NSW.
Parts of central, southern and western NSW could also experience above-average rainfall during March.
Climatologist Dr Andrew Watkins said the return to normal weather was the result of two main drivers which fuelled the most recent summer's extreme conditions - expected to be among the three warmest since records began in 1910.
"At the start of summer, we saw both a very strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole and a near-record negative Southern Annular Mode, and that resulted in both the warmest and driest December on record, with significant fire weather throughout many parts of the country," he said.
"In January we saw those two drivers return to neutral levels, plus a very late arrival of the northern monsoon which finally brought tropical moisture to the continent."
While recent rainfall across parts of eastern Australia has eased dry conditions in a number of areas, BOM predicts long-term rainfall deficiencies to continue for almost a third of the country.
Several months of above average rainfall is necessary to replenish water shortages and raise streamflows.
"By winter, we will have an even clearer indication if this will change, and hence what the weather will look like for the rest of 2020," Dr Watkins said, adding daytime and night-time temperatures would likely be higher than average for most of Australia.
Major Australian climate drivers, including the El Nino - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), are currently neutral and are forecast to remain neutral through autumn.
STATE BY STATE
Night-time temperatures are predicted to be likely warmer than average across the state. However, days are expected to be average.
Rainfall is likely to be above average in the west for Autumn.
Day and night-time temperatures will likely be warmer than average across the state, with days expected to be average.
BOM is predicting rainfall to be above average in the west.
BOM predicts day and night-time temperatures to be above average for most of the state throughout Autumn.
Parts of northern QLD are likely to be drier than average.
BOM predicts day and night-time temperatures to be above average for most of the state, with rainfall likely to be above average in southern parts, particularly in March.
Day and night-time temperatures are likely to be above average for most areas, with many parts likely to be drier than average.
Day and night-time temperatures are likely to be above average across the state, with no real push towards wetter or drier than average conditions.
Night-time temperatures are likely to be above average across WA.
There is a high chance of warmer than average day and night-time temperatures in the north.
BOM predicts wetter than average conditions in southern parts and drier than average conditions in the north.