Climate outlook for spring (September to November)

Issued 25 August 2016

Climate outlook overview

  • Spring (September to November) rainfall is likely to be above average across parts of northern Australia. Elsewhere, the chances of a wetter or drier spring are roughly equal.
  • Warmer days are likely across much of Australia, except eastern NSW and southern Queensland.
  • Warmer nights are likely for Australia, except southwest Australia, northeast NSW and southeast Queensland.
  • Climate influences include a weakening negative Indian Ocean Dipole, and tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures which may approach—or briefly exceed—La Niña thresholds (see the Climate Influences section).

Wetter three months likely for parts of northern Australia

  • Spring (September to November) rainfall is likely to be above average across parts of northern Australia. For most of the country, the chances of a wetter or drier three months are roughly equal.
  • September is likely to be wetter in localised areas over northwest WA, southern NSW and southern Tasmania, but drier in parts of southern WA.
  • The current outlook reflects a weakening negative Indian Ocean Dipole and tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures that may briefly approach La Niña thresholds.
  • Historical outlook accuracy for September to November is moderate to high over most of Australia.

Warmer season likely for most of Australia, except the east

  • Spring (September to November) days are likely to be warmer than average for most of Australia. Southern Queensland, eastern NSW, and the far southern coast of WA have roughly equal chances of warmer or cooler spring days.
  • Night-time temperatures are also more likely to be warmer than average for most of Australia. Southwest WA, southeast Queensland and northeast NSW have roughly equal chances of warmer or cooler spring days.
  • The current outlook reflects a weakening negative Indian Ocean Dipole and tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures that may briefly approach La Niña thresholds.
  • Maximum temperature accuracy is moderate to high over most of Australia, except for some small patches in WA, where accuracy is low to very low. Minimum temperature accuracy is moderate over much of the country but patchy in WA and parts of the northern tropics.

Climate influences

  • The current negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) pattern is expected to weaken over the spring period. This means its influence on Australian rainfall is likely to decrease in the coming months.
  • The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is neutral, with sea surface temperatures showing a cooling trend since late last year. In periods when La Niña is developing or near thresholds, some areas typically experience La Niña-like impacts, including above average rainfall across northern Australia.
  • With major climate drivers either weakening, or in a neutral state, the rainfall outlooks generally show roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier season.
  • In addition to the shorter-term natural drivers, Australian climate patterns are being influenced by the long-term increasing trend in global air and ocean temperatures.
  • Bureau climatologists continually monitor the climate for any significant developments, with information on El Niño/La Niña and IOD events available fortnightly via the ENSO Wrap-Up. For a summary of Pacific and Indian Ocean outlooks, please see the Climate Model Summary.