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’.
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).
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).
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).
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).
Climate and Water Outlook Videos
The Bureau of Meteorology releases regular outlook videos, covering all this information. Watch the most recent video below.