Rainfall and temperature outlooks

Climate outlook for February to May

Climate outlook overview

  • February–April rainfall is likely to be near to above average for much of Australia, particularly across eastern Queensland.
  • Daytime temperatures for February–April are likely to be warmer than average in the south-east and around much of the Australian coastline.
  • Overnight temperatures for February–April are very likely to be above average across nearly all of Australia.
  • La Niña remains active in the tropical Pacific. The event has likely reached its peak strength but is expected to continue to influence Australian rainfall patterns until at least early autumn.

February–April likely wetter than average for Australia, particularly Queensland

  • February–April is likely to be wetter than average for much of Australia (greater than 70% chance for Queensland and WA, greater than 60% chance for most of the remainder of the mainland).
  • February is likely to be wetter than average in northwest WA and eastern Queensland (greater than 65% chance). Elsewhere there is no significant shift towards a wetter or drier than average month.
  • Rainfall for the fortnight 25 January to 7 February is likely to be close to average for most of the country. Wetter than average conditions are more likely for western WA, parts of central Australia, and the far northern tropics (greater than 60% chance) while drier than average conditions are more likely for some inland parts of Queensland and western Tasmania (greater than 60% chance).
  • While the outlooks indicate near-average conditions for southern Australia, this is their drier season, so rainfall (even if above average) is not likely to be sufficient to relieve long-term rainfall deficits.

Warmer days likely in many coastal regions for February–April; warmer nights almost Australia-wide

  • Mean maximum temperatures for February–April are likely (greater than 65% chance) to be higher than the long-term average for southwest, northeast and eastern coasts; all of Tasmania and southern Victoria (greater than 70% chance) as well as parts of South Australia (greater than 60% chance). Below average mean maximum temperatures are likely (greater than 65% chance) over parts of the Kimberley. The outlook for February indicates a similar pattern.
  • Mean minimum temperatures for February–April are very likely (greater than 80% chance) to be above the long-term average across most of Australia, although chances are slightly weaker (60 to 70% chance) over parts of Western Australia's Interior and adjacent South Australia and NT.
  • Mean maximum temperatures for the fortnight 25 January to 7 February are likely (greater than 65% chance) to be above the long-term average for much of Australia, especially over NSW, Victoria and Tasmania (greater than 75% chance). Closer to average temperatures are more likely over WA (apart from over the Pilbara and Gascoyne districts where cooler than average temperatures are more likely) and along the Queensland coast.
  • Mean minimum temperatures for the fortnight 25 January to 7 February are likely (greater than 75% chance) to be above the long-term average across most of Australia, with anomalies up to 3 °C above average in the southeast mainland.

Climate influences

  • La Niña remains active but is likely past its peak.
  • Model outlooks suggest a return to neutral conditions (neither El Niño nor La Niña) is likely by late summer or early autumn. However, the influence on Australian rainfall patterns is likely to continue until at least early autumn. La Niña typically increases the likelihood of above-average rainfall across eastern and northern Australia during summer and early autumn.
  • The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is negative but is expected to return to neutral and remain within the neutral range until the end of January.
  • The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is currently over the Maritime Continent and relatively weak in strength. It is expected to increase in strength and move into the Western Pacific over the coming week. The MJO, along with other tropical wave activity, can be expected to maintain above-average rainfall and tropical cyclone activity in the Australian region over the coming fortnight. 
  • Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are warmer than average around much of Australia, particularly off the western coast. These warm SSTs are also likely to be contributing to above-average rainfall for parts of the country.

Product code: IDCKOATCO2

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