National temperature outlook

Issued 28 May 2014

A warmer winter likely for Australia

Text details of chance of warmer maximum and minimum temperatures

Summary

  • Warmer winter days and nights more likely for Australia
  • Climate influences include a warming tropical Pacific, and an easing of the warm eastern Indian Ocean
  • Outlook accuracy for maximum temperatures is moderate to high over northern and eastern Australia, with low to very low accuracy elsewhere.
  • Minimum temperature accuracy is moderate over most of the country, except for parts of the eastern interior and the Top End of the NT, where accuracy is low.
Probability of exceeding median maximum temperature, large image Probability of exceeding median minimum temperature, large image

Details

The chances that the winter maximum temperature outlook will exceed the median maximum temperature is greater than 60% over Australia. Chances are greater than 80% over the western, southern and eastern coastal regions, and Tasmania. So for every ten winter outlooks with similar odds to these, about six to eight of them would be warmer than average over these areas, while about two to four would be cooler.

The chances that the average minimum temperature for winter 2014 will exceed the long-term median are greater than 60% over Australia. Chances rise to greater than 80% over southern WA, southern Victoria, Tasmania, the eastern seaboard of NSW, and southwest Queensland (see map).

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 elevated during El Niño.

How accurate is the outlook?

Maximum temperature outlook accuracy for the winter period is:

  • High to moderate over northern and eastern Australia
  • Low to very low over southern and central WA, and western and central SA

Minimum temperature outlook accuracy for the winter period is:

  • Moderate over most of the country, except for
  • parts of the eastern interior and the Top End of the NT, where accuracy is low