2012 to start wetter for some, drier for others

National map of probability of exceeding median rainfall

National map of probability of exceeding median rainfall

The Bureau's seasonal rainfall outlook for January–March 2012 favours a wetter than usual start to 2012 in western Australia and parts of eastern Australia. However, parts of central and southern Australia are more likely to have a drier start to the year.

The chances of receiving above median rainfall during the January–March period are between 60% and 70% over western parts of Western Australia, southeast Queensland and most of eastern New South Wales (see map).

In contrast, the chances of receiving above normal rainfall are between 30% and 40% over southwestern Queensland, western New South Wales, the eastern half of South Australia and far northwestern Victoria - in other words, the chances of below normal rainfall range from 60% to 70% in these areas.

The Bureau's latest seasonal temperature outlook favours warmer days for southeastern Australia, warmer nights for northern and western Australia, but cooler days are more likely over western Western Australia.

The rainfall and temperature outlooks are based on the current state of the Pacific and Indian oceans. The main driver for these outlooks is the ongoing warm Indian Ocean and cool conditions in the tropical Pacific.