Climate outlook for November to January

Issued 12 October 2017

Climate outlook overview

  • The November to January rainfall outlook, issued 12 October 2017, shows eastern Victoria is likely to have a wetter than average three months. The rest of the country has around a 50% chance of above average rainfall.
  • November is likely to be drier for most of northern WA, with highest chances in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions.
  • Daytime temperatures are likely to be warmer than average around most of Australia's northern coast, southern Victoria and Tasmania for November to January.
  • November to January nights are likely to be warmer than average for northern and southeastern Australia. Chances are very high in Tasmania, where there is a greater than 80% chance of warmer than average November to January nights.
  • Tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures may approach La Niña levels over the coming months. However, the corresponding warm sea surface temperatures that typically develop to the north and northwest of Australia during La Niña events are less likely to develop. This means that overall, effects upon Australia are likely to be reduced. See the Climate Influences section for more information.

Near equal chances of wetter or drier three months for most of Australia

  • Eastern Victoria is likely to have a wetter three months. The rest of the country has around a 50% chance of above average rainfall.
  • November is likely to be drier for most of northern WA, with highest chances near the Pilbara and Gascoyne coastlines.
  • The Pacific Ocean is likely to cool towards La Niña levels over the coming months. However, the corresponding warm sea surface temperatures that typically develop to the north and northwest of Australia during La Niña events are less likely to develop. This means that overall, Australia doesn't have increased chances of a wetter season.
  • Historical outlook accuracy for November to January is moderate for western Australia and eastern mainland Australia, but generally low elsewhere. See map for more detail.

Warmer three months likely for northern coastline and parts of southeastern Australia

  • Daytime temperatures are likely to be warmer than average for the far north coastline of Australia, southern Victoria and Tasmania for November to January.
  • November to January nights are likely to be warmer than average for northern and southeastern Australia. Chances are highest in Tasmania, where there is a greater than 80% chance of warmer than average November to January nights.
  • For November, northern Australia, Tasmania and eastern Victoria are likely to have warmer days and nights, while northeast NSW and parts of southern WA are likely to have cooler days and nights.
  • Historical accuracy for maximum temperatures is moderate to high over most of Australia, except western WA, the southern NT and parts of northern Queensland, where accuracy is low. Minimum temperature accuracy is moderate to high for most of Australia.

Climate influences

  • The tropical Pacific Ocean is likely to continue to cool over the coming months, and sea surface temperatures may approach or even exceed La Niña levels during the season. However, the corresponding warm sea surface temperatures that typically emerge to the north and northwest of Australia during La Niña events are less likely to develop.
  • In addition, ocean temperatures are near to slightly below average off the WA coast. Without above average sea surface temperatures in these areas, influencing weather patterns and feeding extra moisture into the atmosphere, Australia does not have significantly increased chances of a wetter than average season ahead.
  • Likewise, areas with warmer than average sea surface temperatures are forecast to be in the central Indian and central Pacific oceans, well away from Australia. This means areas with highest chance of increased rainfall have also moved away from the continent.
  • In addition to the natural drivers such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and the IOD, 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.