Seasonal Climate Outlook Temperature Archive

Frequently Asked Questions

Three-month Temperature Probabilities

MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 17th January 2001

Three-month Seasonal Climate Outlook Summary: Temperature probabilities for February to April 2001

Little signal in seasonal temperature odds

The National Climate Centre's seasonal temperature outlook for February to April shows the chances of above average seasonal maximum temperatures are close to 50% over most of the country (see first map below). This means that in years with climate patterns like the current, about 5 out of every 10 are warmer than the long-term median during February to April, whilst about 5 out of 10 are cooler. Alternatively we could say that as far as the Bureau's statistical outlook scheme is concerned, below or above average maximum temperatures are about as equally likely.

The outlook for seasonal minimum temperatures is more emphatic with 60 to 65% chances of warmer than average nights in northern Queensland and southwest W.A. (see second map below). In contrast though, the probabilities are below 40% over the southern half of the Northern Territory and in some of northern Western Australia meaning that cooler than average nights are favoured here. The outlooks have moderate to high skill in the tropics for the Feb-April period, but low skill elsewhere.

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 remains warmer than average, but has been cooling steadily for several months. The overall pattern of Pacific temperatures is near-neutral, although below the surface they are more typical of a La Niņa.
  • 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
Scott Power on (03) 9669 4085.

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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