Seasonal Climate Outlook Temperature Archive

Frequently Asked Questions

Three-month Temperature Probabilities


Three-month Seasonal Climate Outlook Summary: Temperature probabilities for January to March 2001

Warm season favoured in the southeast

The National Climate Centre's seasonal temperature outlook for January to March shows an increased chance of above average seasonal maximum temperatures in the southeast of the mainland, as well as in parts of Tasmania (see first map below). The probabilities in these areas are about 60 to 65%. This means that in years with climate patterns like the current, about 6 out of every 10 end up with January to March being warmer than the long-term median, whilst about 4 out of 10 are cooler.

On a cautionary note though, the outlooks have only low skill in these regions. The highest skill for the Jan-March period is in Queensland, northern NSW and parts of the N.T. where the odds are about 50:50 or even. They're also close to 50% in W.A. In other words, as far as the Bureau's statistical outlook scheme is concerned, below or above average maximum temperatures are about equally likely.

The outlook for seasonal minimum temperatures shows an increased likelihood of warmer than normal nights in parts of W.A., north and east Queensland, and much of the N.T. (see second map below). The chances in these regions are mostly in the 60 to 70% range, so 6 or 7 years out of 10 would be likely to follow this pattern. The chances are mostly close to 50% in other areas.

Background Information:

  • These outlooks are for the average maximum and minimum temperatures for the entire outlook period. Information about individual days or weeks, which may be unusually hot or cold, is not given.
  • This outlook uses data from both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The Indian Ocean is warmer than average, whilst the overall pattern of Pacific temperatures has remained near-neutral. The Indian Ocean has had the most impact on the outlook probabilities.
  • This outlook represents a summary: more detail is available from the contact people or from SILO.
  • Important: Probability outlooks should not be used as if they were categorical forecasts. More on probabilities is contained in the booklet "The Seasonal Climate Outlook - What it is and how to use it", available from the National Climate Centre.

For more information regarding this outlook please contact the following climate meteorologists in the National Climate Centre during normal office hours from 8:45am to 5:30pm (EST) Monday to Friday:

Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527
Robert Fawcett on (03) 9669 4603
Graham de Hoedt on (03) 9669 4714

Archive of previous Seasonal Climate Temperature Outlooks

Archive of previous Seasonal Climate Rainfall Outlooks

Maximum Temperature departures from average for the past 3 months - base period 1961-1990.

Minimum Temperature departures from average for the past 3 months - base period 1961-1990.

probability of exceeding median 
maximum temperature - click to enlarge
Figure 1: Maximum Temperature - Click on the map for full resolution.

probability of exceeding median 
minimum temperature - click to enlarge
Figure 2: Minimum Temperature - Click on the map for full resolution.

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