Rainfall and temperature long-range forecasts

Climate outlook for August to November

Long-range forecast overview

The long-range forecast for August to October shows:

  • Above average rainfall is likely for large areas of eastern and central Australia, below average in parts of the north-west.
  • Rainfall is likely to be within the typical seasonal range for far northern and far south-eastern Australia, and across much of WA.
  • Warmer than average days and nights are very likely across most of Australia.

Rainfall—Summary

Above average rainfall likely for NSW, SA and much of Queensland

May to September is the northern Australian dry season, when tropical northern Australia typically receives very low rainfall. Large areas receive less than 25 mm over the season and only a small amount of rainfall is needed to exceed the average.

August to October

  • Rainfall is likely (60 to 80% chance) to be above average across much of Queensland and SA, and in NSW.
  • There is an increased chance of unusually high rainfall1 for most of the interior of NSW, south-eastern Queensland, and parts of southern SA.
  • Rainfall is likely to be within the typical range for the season for parts of far northern and far south-eastern Australia, and most of WA.
  • Below average rainfall is likely in parts of WA's Pilbara and western Kimberley.

1 Unusually high rainfall is defined as the highest 20% of observations for the forecast period (August to September) from 1981 to 2018.

Temperature—Summary

Warmer August to October days and nights likely across most of Australia

August to October

  • Above average maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to very likely (60% to greater than 80% chance) across most of Australia.
  • There is an increased chance of unusually high maximum temperatures2 for most of Australia, particularly across northern Australia and Tasmania.
  • There is an increased chance of unusually high minimum temperatures2 across Australia, particularly across northern, central and eastern Australia.

2 Unusually high maximum and minimum temperatures refer to the warmest 20% of August to October days and nights, respectively, between 1981 and 2018.

Climate influences

The Bureau's climate model simulates the physics of atmospheric, oceanic, ice and land surface processes, and uses millions of observations from satellites as well as in-situ instrumentation on land and at sea. These simulations enable the model to account for the influence of climate change and natural climate factors like the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO), and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) in its long-range forecasts.

Monitoring of current ocean and atmosphere conditions is provided for general information:

  • The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the central Pacific have been cooling since December 2023. This surface cooling is supported by a cooler than average sub-surface in the central and eastern Pacific. During June, the rate and extent of cooling both at the surface and at depth have slowed. Cloud and surface pressure patterns are currently ENSO-neutral.
  • Climate models suggest that SSTs in the central tropical Pacific are likely to continue to cool for at least the next 2 months. From September, 4 of 7 climate models suggest SSTs are likely to remain at neutral ENSO levels, and the remaining 3 suggest the possibility of SSTs reaching La Niña levels (below −0.8 °C).
  • The Bureau's ENSO Outlook is at La Niña Watch due to early signs that an event may form in the Pacific Ocean later in the year. A La Niña Watch does not guarantee La Niña development, only that there is about an equal chance of either ENSO remaining neutral or a La Niña developing. Early signs of La Niña have limited relevance to mainland Australia and are better reflections of conditions in the tropical Pacific.
  • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. The latest model outlooks indicate that the IOD will remain neutral until at least early spring, beyond which IOD predictability is low.
  • Global sea surface temperatures (SSTs) have been the warmest on record for each month between April 2023 and June 2024. These global patterns of warmth differ to historical global patterns of sea surface temperatures associated with ENSO and IOD; therefore, future predictions based on historical SSTs during past ENSO or IOD events may not be reliable. Phenomena such as ENSO and the IOD are only broad indicators of the expected climate. The long-range forecast provides better guidance on local rainfall and temperature patterns.

Product code: IDCKOATCO2

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