Northern Australian temperature outlook

Issued 28 May 2014

A warmer season likely for northern Australia

Text details of chance of warmer maximum and minimum temperatures

Summary

  • Warmer days and nights more likely for northern Australia
  • Climate influences include a warming tropical Pacific, and an easing of the warm eastern Indian Ocean
  • Outlook accuracy for maximum temperatures is high to very high over the northern NT, and most of Queensland, while accuracy is moderate over the southern NT and southwest Queensland.
  • Minimum temperature accuracy is moderate over most of northern Australia, except for parts of the northern NT and southwest Queensland, where accuracy is low; see accuracy tab for more information.
Probability of exceeding median maximum temperature, larger view Probability of exceeding median minimum temperature, larger view

Details

The chances that the overall June to August maximum temperature will exceed the median maximum temperature are greater than 65% for most of northern Australia. Chances are greater than 75% over a section of southern Queensland, and the eastern coastal region. In other words, for every ten June to August outlooks with similar odds to these, about seven to eight of them would be warmer than normal over these areas, while about three to four would be cooler.

The chances that the average minimum temperature for June to August 2014 will exceed the long-term median are mostly greater than 60% over northern Australia. Chances rise to greater than 80% over southwest Queensland (see map).

Note that these outlooks are for the overall temperatures, averaged over the whole three month period. It is still expected to experience periods of warm or cool weather patterns within the season and therefore frost risk should still be managed carefully by watching the day-to-day weather fluctuations.

Climate influences

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently 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 most models approaching or exceeding El Niño thresholds during late winter.

Models indicate the currently warm tropical eastern Indian Ocean is likely to return to near normal. 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. However, the chance of a positive IOD is eleveated during El Niño.

How accurate is the outlook?

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

  • High to very high over the northern NT, and most of Queensland
  • Moderate over the southern NT and southwest Queensland

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

  • Moderate to high over a large part of northern Australia, except for
  • parts of the Top End and the south-east border region of the NT, southern inland Queensland, as well as the Channel and Gulf Countries where accuracy is low