Rainfall and temperature outlooks

Climate outlook for May to August

Climate outlook overview

  • Rainfall for May to July is likely to be below average for large areas of northern and south-eastern Australia.
  • In May, the drier than average pattern covers northern and western parts of the country.
  • May to July maximum temperatures are likely to be warmer than average Australia wide.
  • Minimum temperatures for May to July are likely to be warmer than average for the north-western half of Australia, and across much of south-eastern Australia.
  • The El Niño–Southern Oscillation is neutral, as are most other climate drivers.

Drier than average May to July for north and south-east Australia

  • Rainfall for May to July is likely to be below average (chance of exceeding median is less than 40%) for the eastern Top End of the NT, northern Queensland extending down the Queensland east coast, southern parts of SA and NSW, most of Victoria and northern Tasmania.
  • In May, the drier than average pattern covers northern and eastern WA, western SA, and northern parts of the NT and Queensland.
  • The fortnight of 19 April to 2 May is likely to be drier than average (chance of exceeding median is less than 40%) over most of the country, except for parts of the far north of Australia, southwest WA, and western Tasmania.
  • It should be noted that May marks the beginning of the northern Australian dry season. This means tropical northern Australia typically has very low rainfall totals, and only a small amount of rainfall is needed to exceed the median.

Warmer than average May to July days nationwide

  • Maximum temperatures for May to July are likely to be warmer than average across Australia (greater than 60% chance), with northern WA, the northern NT and northern Queensland very likely to be warmer (greater than 80% chance). The pattern for May is similar, although large parts of eastern and central Australia have roughly equal chances of having warmer or cooler days (chance of exceeding the median is close to 50%).
  • Minimum temperatures for May to July are likely to be warmer than average for WA, the NT, large areas of Queensland, southern SA, eastern NSW, southern Victoria and Tasmania (greater than 60% chance). Elsewhere, the chances of warmer or cooler than average nights are roughly equal.
  • May nights are likely to be warmer than average for western WA, northern Cape York Peninsula, and coastal areas of southeast SA and Victoria (chances are greater than 60%), while parts of Central Australia and central Queensland are likely to have cooler than average nights (chances of exceeding the median is less than 40%).

Climate influences

  • The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is neutral. Model outlooks indicate neutral conditions at least for the remainder of autumn and winter. A neutral ENSO state has little influence on Australian climate, and means other climate drivers may have more influence upon Australia's weather and climate.
  • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. IOD events are typically unable to form during December to April. Outlooks indicate the IOD is most likely to remain neutral for the remainder of autumn and early winter. However, it should be noted that model accuracy is generally low at this time of the year, so the current outlooks should be viewed with caution.
  • The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is likely to be neutral for the coming fortnight. The SAM generally has little influence on Australian rainfall during autumn.
  • The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is tracking across the western Pacific, which typically acts to suppress rainfall for parts of Australia.
  • Australia's temperature and rainfall variability are also influenced by global warming caused by human activities. Australia's climate has warmed by around 1.44 °C since 1910, while southern Australia has seen a reduction of 10–20% in cool season (April–October) rainfall in recent decades. With most climate drivers neutral, it is possible that recent trends in Australia's climate may be more apparent in forecast patterns, for example, warmer than average May to July days for most.
  • The Bureau's climate model uses the physics of our atmosphere, oceans, ice, and land surface combined with millions of observations from satellites and on land and sea. As a result, it incorporates the influence of climate change and natural climate drivers like ENSO, IOD, the MJO, and SAM in its outlooks.

Product code: IDCKOATCO2

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