THE CLIMATE KELPIE BLOG: What’s predicted in June?

Posted by BCG on 9th June 2020

What a difference a few weeks can make! The initial BoM outlook for winter was suggesting ‘Above Average’ rainfall for much of Australia with the warmer temperatures in the Indian Ocean the main climate driver behind this. However, the Indian Ocean is naturally quite unpredictable at this time of year and since that forecast release the temperatures in the Indian Ocean have returned to ‘neutral’ therefore not providing a strong influence on our current rainfall patterns. It is worth noting that the central and eastern Pacific Ocean temperatures are still likely to cool over the winter months to a La Nina-like pattern, which typically helps to bring favourable like rainfall patterns to eastern Australia.

As a result, the overall outlook for June to August is for ‘Above Average’ rainfall for northeast South Australia, western New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland and ‘Below Average’ rainfall for coastal southeast South Australia, southwest Victoria and most of Tasmania. Both minimum and maximum temperatures are likely to be ‘Above Average’ except for inland parts of southern Australia where maximum temperatures are likely to have equal chances of ‘Above’ and ‘Below Average’.

Rainfall Roundup

In May, ‘Above Average’ and ‘Very Much Above Average’ rainfall was recorded across the northern parts of Australia and in isolated pockets of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales (Fig. 1). For central Australia however ‘Below Average’ to ‘Very Much Below Average’ rainfall was recorded (Fig. 1).

Overall for Autumn, the south eastern states received ‘Above Average’ to ‘Very Much Above Average’ rainfall however parts of Queensland and a large area of Western Australia experienced ‘Below Average’ to ‘Very Much Below Average’ rainfall (Fig. 2).

Figure 1. Rainfall deciles for May 2020.
Figure 2. Rainfall deciles for March to May 2020.

Rainfall Forecast

The BoM’s ACCESS model suggests that June is likely to deliver ‘Below Average’ to ‘Average’ rainfall to much of Australia (Fig. 3). For the three-month forecast, June to August, rainfall is likely to be ‘Above Average’ for parts of central Australia and ‘Below Average’ for south west Victoria and Tasmania with the rest of the country having equal chances of being ‘Above’ or ‘Below Average’. Northern Australia is expected to receive ‘Below Average’ rainfall but this is the dry season so low rainfall totals are to be expected. Note that at this time of year accuracy for the three-month forecast is moderate except for parts of south east southern Australia, south west New South Wales and parts of northern eastern Australia and parts of coastal southwest Western Australia (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. Australian outlook for June to August 2020.

Temperature Roundup

Maximum temperatures in May were ‘Below Average’ in many parts of Australia with only the top of the Northern Territory and parts of Western Australia experiencing ‘Above Average’ temperatures. (Fig. 4). Minimum temperatures were also ‘Below Average’ to ‘Average’ across most of Australia however Tasmania and isolated pockets along Australia’s northern coastline were ‘Above Average’ (Fig. 5).  

Figure 4. Maximum temperature deciles for May 2020.
Figure 5. Minimum temperature deciles for May 2020.

Temperature Forecast

The BoM’s ACCESS model forecast suggests that over the next three months maximum temperatures are likely to be ‘Above Average’ for most of Australia except for southern South Australia, southwest New South Wales and western Victoria, where there is an equal chance of ‘Above’ or ‘Below Average’ maximum temperatures (Fig. 6). Minimum temperatures on the other hand are likely to be ‘Above Average’ across most Australia for the next three months (Fig. 7).  At this time of year accuracy for the three-month maximum temperature forecast is moderate to high for most of Australia except for parts of the New South Wales coastline, Western Australia and a band through the Northern Territory and Queensland where accuracy is low. Accuracy for minimum temperatures is moderate to high across most of Australia except for an area in south east South Australia as well as in the south west of Western Australia where accuracy is low (Fig 7).

Figure 6. June to August 2020 maximum temperature outlook.
Figure 7. June to August 2020 minimum temperature outlook.

Climate and Water Outlook Videos

The Bureau of Meteorology releases regular outlook videos, covering all this information. Watch the most recent video below.

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