CLIMATEDOGS NATIONAL FORECAST

Currently, many of Australia’s main climate drivers are in the neutral position and are not expected to influence our climate over the next few months. These include the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and our shorter-term climate driver the Southern Annular Mode (SAM).  

In contrast the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) has now moved across into the Australian region and whilst in this position northern Australia may experience ‘Above Average’ rainfall.

With no major climate driver influencing large parts of Australia the overall outlook for April to June is for rainfall to be ‘Above Average’ for the far north of Australia and ‘Average’ to ‘Below Average’ for the rest of Australia. In terms of temperatures, minimums are likely to be ‘Above Average’ across most of Australia except for a large area of eastern and central Australia and maximums are also likely to be ‘Above Average’ for much of Australia except for the Top End in the Northern Territory where there are equal chances of maximums being ‘Above’ or ‘Below Average’.  

Rainfall Roundup

In March, rainfall was ‘Below Average’ most notably in northern Queensland, but small areas in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory also experienced ‘Below Average’ rainfall. In contract, the rest of Australia received ‘Average’ to ‘Above Average’ rainfall with inland and coastal areas of northern New South Wales recording the ‘Highest on Record’ (Fig. 1).

This rain in March has contributed towards much of Australia maintaining ‘Average’ to ‘Above Average’ rainfall for the last 3 months, however some places are still starting the year with ‘Below Average’ rainfall including parts of inland and the southern coastline of Queensland, a pocket in the Northern Territory and small areas around the South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales border (Fig. 2).

Figure 1. Rainfall deciles for March 2021.
Figure 2. Rainfall deciles for January 2021 to March 2021.

Rainfall Forecast

The BoM’s ACCESS model predicts that rainfall in April is likely to be ‘Above Average’ in the Top End of the Northern Territory and ‘Below Average’ through southern Queensland, much of New South Wales, parts of Victoria and central Australia (Fig. 3).

For the three-month forecast, April to June, the pattern is very similar to April with ‘Above Average’ rainfall likely for the far north of Australia and ‘Below Average’ rainfall for southern Queensland, much of New South Wales, parts of Victoria and South Australia (Fig. 3)

At this time of year accuracy for the three-month forecast is moderate to high for much of Australia except for parts of central Australia, small pockets of Victoria and Tasmania as well as along the New South Wales and Queensland border (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. Australian rainfall outlook for April to June 2021.

Temperature Roundup

Maximum temperatures in March were ‘Below Average’ in much of south east Australia, central Australia and northern parts of Western Australia (Fig. 4). In contract southern parts of Western Australia, northern Queensland and pockets in the Northern Territory and Tasmania were ‘Above Average’ (Fig. 4).

Minimum temperatures on the other hand were ‘Below Average’ through central New South Wales, along the South Australia Victoria/New South Wales border and pockets in the Northern Territory and Western Australia (Fig. 5). For the rest of Australia minimum temperatures were ‘Average’ to ‘Below Average’ (Fig. 5).

Figure 4. Maximum temperature deciles for March 2021.
Figure 5. Minimum temperature deciles for March 2021.

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 the Top End of the Northern Territory where maximum temperatures have an equal chance of being ‘Above’ or ‘Below Average’ (Fig. 6). For minimum temperatures, most of Australia is likely to be ‘Above Average’ for the next three months apart from eastern inland and central Australia, which has equal chances of minimum temperatures being ‘Above’ or ‘Below Average’ (Fig. 7).

At this time of year accuracy for the three-month maximum temperature forecast is moderate to high for all of Australia (Fig. 6). For minimum temperatures, accuracy is low for much of south east Australia, the far south west of Western Australia and parts of Queensland with moderate to high accuracy for Tasmania and much of western and central Australia (Fig. 7).

Figure 6. April to June 2021 maximum temperature outlook.
Figure 7. April to June 2021 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.

REGIONAL/SECTOR FORECASTS

If you're looking for a forecast for your specific region or sector, you can find direct links here!
New South Wales
Seasonal Conditions Report (All)
(NSW DPI)
Moisture Manager (Cotton)
(Cotton Info)
Queensland
Seasonal Climate Newsletter (All)
(Sugar/Livestock)
(USQ & QDAF)
South Australia
The Fast Break
(Agriculture Victoria)
Tasmania
The Fast Break
(Agriculture Victoria)
Victoria
The Fast Break (Grains/Livestock)
(Agriculture Victoria)
Western Australia
Seasonal Climate Outlook
(DPIRD)

CLIMATEDOGS FORECAST HISTORY

MEET THE CLIMATEDOGS

ENSO
El Niño Southern Oscillation
During La Niña years, drives higher winter and spring rain across Australia. During El Niño, herds the rain away.
Learn more about Enso >
INDY
Indian Ocean Dipole
Herds moistures from the warm north-east Indian Ocean across Australia to influences spring rainfall.
Learn more about Indy >
RIDGY
Subtropical Ridge
Blocks rain-bearing fronts in summer over southern Australia. Less active in winter, allowing winter rains through.
Learn more about Ridgy >
SAM
Southern Annular Mode
Herds cold fronts up from the Southern Ocean, which can bring rain to southern Australia.
Learn more about Sam >
EASTIE
East-Coast Low Pressure System
Can bring strong winds and heavy rains to the east coast, mainly in Autumn and Winter.
Learn more about Eastie >
MOJO
Madden -Julian Oscillation
Can bring strong winds and heavy rains to the east coast, mainly in Autumn and Winter.
Learn more about Mojo >

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