Northern Australian temperature outlook

Issued 26 March 2014

Warmer conditions more likely over north Australia

Text details of chance of warmer maximum and minimum temperatures

Summary

  • Warmer days are more likely across most of north Australia
  • The chances of warmer or cooler days are roughly equal over Cape York Peninsula and the southwest of the NT
  • Warmer nights are more likely over most of north Australia, except the northeast of the NT and Cape York Peninsula in Queensland
  • Climate influences include a warming tropical Pacific, and a warm to near-normal Indian Ocean
  • Temperature outlook accuracy is moderate to very high over north Australia for maximum temperatures, and moderate to high for minimum temperatures.
Probability of exceeding median maximum temperature, larger view Probability of exceeding median minimum temperature, larger view

Details

The April to June maximum temperature outlook shows chances of greater than 60% for warmer than normal days over most of the north with odds increasing to the south; odds exceed 70% in one small area near the south-west Queensland border. Over the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, and the northeast of the NT, including the Roper-McArthur district, chances of warmer or cooler daytime temperatures are roughly equal.

Another way to interpret this is that for every ten April to June outlooks with similar odds to these, about six to eight of them would be warmer than average over the areas with increased odds, while about two to four would be cooler.

The chances of receiving cooler or warmer than normal night-time temperatures for April to June is roughly equal (i.e., close to 50%) over the northeast of the NT, and Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. Elsewhere the outlook shows chances of greater than 60% for warmer than normal nights, with odds increasing to the south; odds exceed 75% along the southern Queensland border.

Climate influences

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) currently remains neutral, but the tropical Pacific is currently warming. Dynamical models surveyed by the Bureau indicate that further warming of the tropical Pacific is likely in the coming months, with most models approaching or exceeding El Niño thresholds during the southern winter.

Sea surface temperatures surrounding Australia, and to the west, are expected to be near normal to warmer than normal.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) influence is minimal during the first part of the outlook period, with a neutral IOD likely for the second part.

How accurate is the outlook?

Maximum temperature outlook accuracy for the April to June period is:

  • Moderate to very high over northern Australia

Minimum temperature outlook accuracy for the April to June period is:

  • Moderate to high over most of northern Australia