Northern Australian temperature outlook

Issued 24 February 2014

Cooler temperatures more likely across the tropics

Text details of chance of warmer maximum and minimum temperatures

Summary

  • Cooler temperatures more likely across the tropics
  • Warmer nights are more likely across the southern QLD/NSW border area
  • Climate influences are close to their long-term average, including a neutral tropical Pacific
  • Outlook accuracy for maximum temperatures is moderate to high over most of northern Australia and very high over southeast QLD
  • Outlook accuracy for minimum temperature is moderate to high over most of northern Australia except near the QLD/NT and QLD/NSW border where accuracy is low
Probability of exceeding median maximum temperature, larger view Probability of exceeding median minimum temperature, larger view

Details

The autumn maximum temperature outlook shows chances of less than 40% for warmer than normal days over the northern half of the NT (see map). For every ten autumn outlooks with similar odds to these, about six of them would be expected to be cooler than median over these areas, while about four years would be warmer.

Conversely, the chances of warmer than normal daytime temperatures for autumn is greater than 40% elsewhere across northern Australia, with a small area in south-east QLD above 60%.

The chances that the average minimum temperature for autumn will exceed the long-term median are greater than 60% over southern Queensland. Conversely, the chances of warmer than normal daytime temperatures for autumn is less than 40% over the northern half of the NT and over Queensland's Cape York. Elsewhere, the chances of receiving cooler or warmer than normal night time temperatures for autumn is roughly equal.

Climate influences

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral, with the majority of atmospheric and oceanic indicators close to their long-term average. Dynamical models surveyed by the Bureau suggest ENSO-neutral conditions are likely to persist at least for the next three months.

Ocean temperatures surrounding Australia are generally expected to remain close to their 1981-2010 average, though some cooler than average temperatures around northern and north-eastern coasts early in the season may mean a reduction in evaporation in those areas. Atmospheric pressures may be below average over some southern areas in the first half of the season, which may favour drier westerly winds over some parts of eastern Australia.

The Indian Ocean Dipole is typically too weak to have a significant influence on the Australian climate during the autumn period.

How accurate is the outlook?

Maximum temperature outlook accuracy for the autumn period is:

  • Moderate to high over the Top End of the NT, central-inland and southeast parts of Queensland
  • Low in central, southwest and southeast parts of the NT

Minimum temperature outlook accuracy for the autumn period is:

  • Moderate to high over the Top End of the NT
  • Low near the southern QLD/NT border and along the QLD/NSW border