National temperature outlook

Issued 25 September 2013

Warmer days and nights more likely for most of Australia

Text details of chance of warmer maximum and minimum temperatures


  • Warmer days and nights are more likely over most of Australia with strongest odds over northwest WA and parts of southeast Australia and Tasmania.
  • Climate influences include a neutral Indian Ocean Dipole, a neutral tropical Pacific, and locally warm sea surface temperatures
  • Outlook accuracy for maximum temperatures is moderate to high over most of Australia excluding western parts of WA, with minimum temperature accuracy moderate to high over most of Australia.
Probability of exceeding median maximum temperature, large image Probability of exceeding median minimum temperature, large image


The chances of the October to December maximum temperature exceeding the long-term median maximum temperature are greater than 60% over most of the continent excluding interior parts of WA and the NT. Odds increase to greater than 70% over northwest WA, parts of the southeast coast and Tasmania. Such odds mean that for every ten years with similar climate patterns to those currently observed, about six to seven October to December periods would be expected to be warmer than average over these areas, while about three to four years would be cooler.

The chance that the average minimum temperature for the October to December period will exceed the long-term median minimum temperature are greater than 60% over most of the continent excluding southwest parts of the NT, southwest parts of WA and the northeast coast of Queensland. Probabilities exceed 70% across southeast NSW and Tasmania.

Climate influences

The negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event that was influencing Australian climate through late autumn into winter has weakened over the past few weeks, with IOD-neutral values prevailing since early August. The majority of climate models indicate that the IOD will remain neutral through to the end of the year, suggesting that the 2013 negative-IOD is most likely at an end.

The tropical Pacific has remained ENSO-neutral since mid-2012. The dynamical seasonal outlook model suggests ENSO-neutral conditions will remain for the rest of 2013.

With the two main climate influences (ENSO and the IOD) likely to remain neutral (and hence have lesser influence upon Australia) over the coming months, secondary influences, such as warmer-than-normal oceans around the continent and a forecast for lower pressures over southeastern areas, are tending to drive the October-December Australian climate patterns.

How accurate is the outlook?

Outlook accuracy is related to how consistently the oceans and broadscale climate affect Australian temperatures. During the October to December period, historical accuracy shows the outlook for maximum temperatures to be moderately to highly consistent over most Australia, excluding parts of WA and SA (see further details below).

The effect on minimum temperatures during this season is moderately to highly consistent over most of the country, excluding northern parts of WA, parts of the NT and parts of the southeast Queensland/northeast NSW coasts.