The neutral pattern of seasonal maximum temperature odds
in northeast Australia Queensland and the NT is a result of effects from the Indian and Pacific
Oceans cancelling each other out: below-normal temperatures are promoted by the
La Niña pattern (cooler than average temperatures in the equatorial Pacific),
while above-normal temperatures are promoted by continuing
higher than average temperatures in the central to southeastern Indian Ocean (see map).
So for every ten years with ocean patterns like the current, about five
February to April periods are expected to be warmer than average over
northern Australia, with about five being cooler.
Outlook confidence is related to how consistently the Pacific and Indian
Oceans affect Australian temperatures. During the February to April period, history
shows the effect on maximum temperatures to be moderately consistent over most of
Queensland and the northern NT. In the rest of the NT and the far southwest of
Queensland the effect is only weakly consistent (see background information).
Minimum temperatures for the February to April period are favoured to be warmer than normal across
much of northern Queensland (see map). The chances of increased
overnight warmth (averaged over the coming three months) are mainly between 60
and 70% in this area. Across the rest of the Queensland and the NT, the chances of the
seasonal mean minimum being above the long-term average are typically between 40 and 60%,
except in an area in southern NT where there is only a 35 to 40% chance
of exceeding the median.
History shows the oceans' effect on minimum temperatures during the
February to April period
to be moderately consistent over large parts of Queensland and the NT.