Climate outlook for February to April

Climate outlook overview

  • The February to April 2019 climate outlook, issued 17 January 2019, indicates a drier than median three months is likely for most of WA, western parts of northern NT and SA, and much of eastern mainland Australia. The rest of the country shows no strong push towards a wetter or drier than median season.
  • Warmer than median days and nights are likely for almost all of Australia for February to April. For daytime temperatures, the chances of being warmer than median are very high, greater than 80% for most of the country.
  • Tropical Pacific waters are neutral, but near El Niño levels. The atmospheric component of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation has not responded to the warmer waters yet, meaning an El Niño event has not become established. The Bureau's model suggests tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures are likely to reach El Niño levels through early autumn and then return to neutral. 
  • This outlook is showing little signal from any of the typical Australian climate drivers, with most in a neutral phase. Therefore, local effects, such as the ocean temperatures around Australia, are likely to influence the outlook.

Drier than median three months likely for eastern and western parts of Australia

  • February to April is likely to be drier than median for most of WA, western parts of the NT and SA, eastern parts of Queensland and NSW, and most of Victoria. For the remainder of the country, there are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier three months, i.e., no strong tendency towards a wetter or drier than median season ahead. 
  • Historical outlook accuracy for February to April is moderate across most of mainland Australia and northern Tasmania. However, over southwestern Australia, southern SA, western and central Victoria, and southern Tasmania accuracy is low to very low. See map for more detail.

Warmer than median days and nights likely for Australia

  • February to April days are very likely to be warmer than median for most of Australia. Chances of a warmer three months are greater than 80% over large parts of western and eastern Australia. 
  • February to April nights are also very likely to be warmer than median across most of Australia, with chances of warmer nights exceeding 80% over northern and eastern Australia.
  • Historical accuracy for February to April maximum temperatures is moderate to high across most of Australia, but low in the Top End of the NT, southern SA, southern NSW and Victoria. Minimum temperature accuracy is moderate to high for southeast Australia, and patchy areas across northern Australia. Elsewhere accuracy is low to very low.

Climate influences

  • Tropical Pacific waters are neutral, but near El Niño levels. The atmospheric component of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation has not responded to the warmer waters, meaning an El Niño event has not become established. The Bureau's model suggests tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures are likely to reach El Niño levels through early autumn and then return to neutral. 
  • This outlook is showing little signal from any of the typical Australian climate drivers, with most in a neutral phase. Therefore, other local effects, such as the temperature of the oceans around Australia, are likely to influence the outlook.
  • In addition to the natural drivers such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and the IOD, Australian climate patterns are being influenced by the long-term increasing trend in global air and ocean temperatures.
  • Bureau climatologists continually monitor the climate for any significant developments, with information on El Niño/La Niña and IOD events available fortnightly via the ENSO Wrap-Up. For a summary of Pacific and Indian Ocean outlooks, please see the Climate Model Summary.

Product code: IDCKOATCO2

REGIONAL MAPS: Select and view or download the latest outlook