Climate outlook for February to April

Climate outlook overview

  • Much of western and southern Australia, and parts of the northeast, are likely to experience a drier than average three months from February through April 2019.
  • Days and nights are very likely to be warmer than average for most of Australia. This follows Australia's warmest December and what looks almost certain to be the warmest January on record.
  • The Pacific Ocean is currently at El Niño WATCH, meaning there is an elevated chance (50%) of El Niño developing during autumn 2019. El Niño's typically result in warmer and drier than usual conditions, and a later autumn break, for southern and eastern Australia. Details: Climate influences
  • The Southern Ocean is likely to see higher pressures and weaker westerly winds, most noticeably during February, to the southwest of Australia. This may reduce rainfall across parts of southern Australia. Details: Climate influences

A drier three months likely for large parts of Australia

  • Much of western and southern Australia, and parts of eastern Queensland, are likely to experience a drier than average three months.
  • In contrast, most of central and eastern Australia shows no strong swing towards either wetter or drier than average conditions this February through April. In February, parts of Victoria and NSW over and near the Great Dividing Range have an increased chance of being wetter than usual.
  • Historical outlook accuracy for February to April is moderate for most of the country and high in some tropical areas. Details: Past accuracy for February to April.

Warmer than average conditions likely to continue

  • Warmer than usual days and nights are very likely for most of Australia during February to April. This follows Australia's warmest December and what looks almost certain to be the warmest January on record.
  • Historical accuracy for February to April is moderate to high across most of the country for both maximum and minimum temperature. Details: Past accuracy for February to April.

Climate influences

  • Although the tropical Pacific Ocean is currently neutral, there is an elevated chance (50%) of El Niño developing during autumn 2019, which is influencing this outlook. The ENSO Outlook status is currently at El Nino WATCH.
  • El Niño's have traditionally resulted in warmer and drier than usual conditions in autumn in southern Australia. Details: ENSO Wrap-Up and Climate Model Summary
  • Other influences are related to temperature of the oceans surrounding Australia. In the Indian Ocean, the central and western tropics are warmer than normal. This pattern tends to move the focus of rainfall away from Australia, and reduces the amount of moisture in the air that travels over western and southern Australia.

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