Climate outlook for September to November

Climate outlook overview

  • The climate outlook, issued 16 August 2018, shows the first months of spring (September and October) are likely to be drier than average for most of northern, eastern and southern Australia. Overall, spring (September to November) is likely to be drier for southwest WA, southeast Australia, and parts of central Queensland when averaged over the whole season.
  • Spring days are likely to be warmer than average for Australia.
  • Nights are also likely to be warmer than average for most areas, except for parts of northern Australia and the southeast of the mainland.
  • A dry and warm spring would mean intensification of the existing drought conditions across parts of eastern Australia.
  • The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are currently neutral. However, current observations and model outlooks indicate El Niño and a positive IOD could develop in spring. See the Climate Influences section for more information. 

A drier spring likely for southern Australia

  • Spring (September to November) is more likely to be drier than average for southwest WA, southeast SA, Victoria, Tasmania, southern inland NSW, and parts of central Queensland. Elsewhere, there are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average three months, meaning there is no strong indication either way that it will be particularly wet or dry.
  • September and October are likely to be drier for southwest WA, and most of eastern and northern Australia.
  • Much of eastern and southern mainland Australia have experienced a very dry first half of the year, so an outlook with increased chances of drier conditions indicates areas currently experiencing drought are less likely to see significant respite in the coming three months.
  • Historical outlook accuracy for September to November is moderate to high over most of the country, except for northwest Australia where accuracy is low to very low. See map for more detail.

Warmer spring days likely for Australia

  • Above average daytime temperatures experienced across Australia so far in 2018 are likely to continue.
  • Spring days are likely to be warmer than average for Australia. Similarly, nights are also likely to be warmer than average for most areas, except for parts of northern Australia and the southeast of the mainland.
  • Historical accuracy for September to November maximum temperatures is moderate to high for most of the country, but is low in northern SA. Minimum temperature accuracy is moderate for most of Australia except the interior where it is low to very low.

Climate influences

  • The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is currently neutral, but there is an increased chance (50%) of El Niño forming in the coming months. El Niño typically means below average rainfall during spring for northern and eastern Australia, and warmer days for the southern two-thirds of the country.
  • Similarly the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is also neutral. However, outlooks suggest a brief positive IOD event may form during spring. A positive IOD during spring typically reduces rainfall in central and southern Australia, and can exacerbate any El Niño driven rainfall deficiencies.
  • Sea surface temperatures continue to be cooler than average to Australia's northwest, which is likely acting to suppress rainfall over southern and central Australia.
  • 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.

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