Northern Australian temperature outlook

Issued 24 April 2014

Equal chances for warm or cool temperatures

Text details of chance of warmer maximum and minimum temperatures

Summary

  • The chances of warmer or cooler days are roughly equal over northern Australia
  • The chances of warmer or cooler nights are roughly equal over northern Australia
  • Climate influences include a warming tropical Pacific, and a warm Indian Ocean
  • Outlook accuracy for maximum temperatures is moderate to high over northern Australia
  • Minimum temperature accuracy is moderate over most of northern Australia, except for parts of the southern and far northern Queensland, where accuracy is low.
Probability of exceeding median maximum temperature, larger view Probability of exceeding median minimum temperature, larger view

Details

For May to July, the outlook shows near equal chances (i.e., close to 50%) of warmer or cooler temperatures over most of northern Australia.

Minimum temperatures, likewise, do not show a strong shift in the odds toward warmer or cooler conditions for the May to July period. The odds weakly favour warmer nights across the Alice.

Climate influences

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

Sea surface temperatures in the eastern Indian Ocean, to the south of Australia, and in parts of the Tasman Sea are currently warmer than normal, and are generally expected to remain warm through the forecast period. Typically during El Niño, daytime temperatures are expected to be warmer than normal during the second half of the year. It is possible that the warm eastern Indian Ocean may be somewhat negating the effect of the developing El Niño on likely daytime temperatures.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is expected to remain neutral for the next three months, and is therefore unlikely to have a significant influence upon this outlook.

How accurate is the outlook?

Maximum temperature outlook accuracy for the May to July period is:

  • High over most of northern Australia, and
  • Moderate over the southern NT and around the Gulf of Carpentaria

Minimum temperature outlook accuracy for the May to July period is:

  • Moderate over most of the NT and Queensland, and
  • Low for parts of southern Queensland, and east of the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf