Climate outlook for October to January

Climate outlook overview

  • Rainfall is likely to be below average across most of the country for the remainder of 2019 and early 2020. However, for northwest WA, above average rainfall is likely through the November to January period.
  • Daytime temperatures are very likely to be above average over the Australian mainland and eastern Tasmania during the October to January period.
  • A warm spell is expected during the second half of September, with maximum temperatures likely to be 2-3 degrees above average for much of the southern two-thirds of mainland Australia.
  • Nights are likely to be cooler than average in parts of southeast Australia and the Top End of the NT during October. Nights are very likely to be warmer than average over eastern NSW, southern Queensland, the eastern NT and most of WA.
  • The positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) remains a key climate driver of Australian climate for the coming months. A prolonged period of negative SAM (Southern Annular Mode) is also forecast, which at this time of the year typically acts to enhance the drier signal across parts of eastern Australia.

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Drier than normal end of the year likely for most of Australia

  • Rainfall is likely to be below average across most of the country during October to January. However, for northwest WA, above average rainfall is likely through the November to January period.
  • In the shorter term, the second half of September is likely to be drier than average across most of the country. October is showing particularly strong chances for almost all of mainland Australia of being a drier than usual month.
  • The positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) remains a key climate driver of Australian climate for the coming months. This, combined with a forecast negative Southern Annual Mode (SAM) phase, is driving the warm and dry conditions forecast by the Bureau's climate model.

Warmer end to the year likely

  • Daytime temperatures are very likely to be warmer than average for most of Australia for the remainder of 2019 and early 2020.
  • The exception is western Tasmania, where there is little shift towards either a warmer or cooler than average period.
  • A warm spell is expected during the second half of September, with daytime temperatures likely to be 2-3 degrees above average for much of Australia south of the tropics.
  • Nights are likely to be cooler than average in parts of the southeast during October, meaning an increased risk of late-season frost in susceptible areas.
  • Nights are very likely to be warmer than usual over eastern NSW, southern Queensland, eastern NT and most of WA, when average over October to December.

Climate influences

  • A positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is underway and the Bureau's model forecasts it to continue until the end of spring. This is one of the main drivers of the Bureau's climate model forecasting warmer and drier conditions across large parts of Australia.
  • IOD events typically decay towards the end of the year, having little influence on Australian climate from December to April, meaning its contribution to the drier outlook should start to reduce in early summer.
  • A strong tendency towards negative Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is forecast by the Bureau's climate model during October and November. This is largely due to a sudden warming of the stratosphere over Antarctica. A negative SAM in the spring months often brings drier than average conditions to parts of eastern mainland Australia by reducing onshore flow, but also brings wetter than average conditions to western Tasmania.
  • The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is expected to remain neutral for the remainder of 2019.
  • In addition to the natural drivers such as ENSO and the IOD, Australian climate patterns are being influenced by the long-term increasing trend in global air and ocean temperatures.

Product code: IDCKOATCO2

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