Northern Australian temperature outlook

Issued 23 October 2013

A warm season likely for northern Australia

Text details of chance of warmer maximum and minimum temperatures

Summary

  • Warmer days and nights are more likely over most of northern Australia
  • Climate influences include warmer than average sea surface temperatures around Australia and a neutral tropical Pacific
  • Outlook accuracy for maximum and minimum temperatures over most of northern Australia is moderate
Probability of exceeding median maximum temperature, larger view Probability of exceeding median minimum temperature, larger view

Details

The chances of the November to January maximum temperature exceeding the long-term median maximum temperature are greater than 70% over Queensland and the Northern Territory. Odds over western Queensland increase to greater than 80%. So for every ten November to January outlooks with similar odds to these, about seven or eight of them would be expected to be warmer than average over these areas, while about two or three years would be cooler.

Minimum temperatures see a similar pattern as the maximum temperatures, for the November to January period, with greater than 70% chance of above median minimum temperatures, including a greater than 80% chance over western Queensland and parts of the Top End of the NT.

Climate influences

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.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral, and is expected to remain so for the next month. Beyond that time, the effect of the IOD on Australian climate from December through to April is limited, and is therefore not an influence on the outlooks during this period.

With the main climate influences likely to remain neutral (and hence have lesser impact upon Australia) over the coming months, secondary influences, such as warmer-than-normal oceans around the continent are tending to drive the 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 November to January period, historical accuracy shows the outlook for maximum temperatures to be moderately consistent over most of northern Australia, except for the central NT and parts of central Queensland which are only very weakly consistent.

The effect on minimum temperatures during this season is moderately consistent over most of the north, excluding parts of southwest NT which are only very weakly consistent.