The pattern of seasonal temperature odds across northern Australia is a result
of recent warm conditions in the Indian Ocean and an increasing level
of warmth in the Pacific. The Pacific has had the greater influence on this
The chance that the average July-September maximum temperature will exceed the
long-term median maximum temperature ranges from 60 to 70% across most of the
southern halves of both the NT and Queensland. In the southeast inland of
Queensland the chance approaches 75%.
This means that for every ten years with ocean patterns like the current, about six
or seven years would be expected to be warmer than average during the September
quarter over this broad zone stretching west-east across northern Australia, with about
three or four years being cooler.
The chances of a higher than normal seasonal average is between 45 and
60% in the far north.
Outlook confidence is related to how consistently the Pacific and Indian
Oceans affect Australian temperatures. During the September quarter,
history shows this effect on maximum temperatures to be moderately consistent
in both the NT and Queensland (see background information).
The outlook for mean minimum temperatures over July-September shows the
chance of a seasonal average above the long-term median minimum temperature is between
40 and 60% over northern Australia.
History shows the oceans' effect on minimum temperatures in the July to
September period to be moderately consistent over Queensland and the east of the NT.
Elsewhere the effect is only weakly or very weakly consistent.