The pattern of seasonal temperature odds across northern Australia is a result of
continuing higher than average temperatures over parts of the south tropical
Pacific Ocean, and also in parts of the tropical and sub-tropical Indian Ocean.
A stronger signal is coming from the Indian Ocean.
Averaged over the December quarter, the chances are between 60 and 80% for above-normal
maximum temperatures over most of Queensland and the NT (see map). In some parts near
the Gulf of Carpentaria the chances exceed 80%, while in the southwest NT the chances
are between 50 and 60%.
So for every ten years with ocean patterns like the current, about six to eight October to
December periods are expected to be warmer than average over much of northern Australia,
with about two to four being cooler.
Outlook confidence is related to how consistently the Pacific and Indian
Oceans affect Australian temperatures. During the December quarter, history shows this effect on
maximum temperatures to be moderately consistent across the southeast NT, patches in
the north of the Territory and most of Queensland, with the exception of Cape York.
Elsewhere, particularly the southwest NT, it is only weakly or very weakly consistent
(see background information).
Minimum temperatures for the December quarter are favoured to be warmer than normal across
all of northern Australia (see map). The chances of increased overnight warmth (averaged
over the coming three months) over Queensland and the NT are between 60 and 80%.
History shows the oceans' effect on minimum temperatures during October to December
to be moderately to highly consistent over most of Queensland, and the northern and
southeastern extremities of the NT. Over most of the NT and in southeast Queensland, the
effect is weakly or very weakly consistent.