Large parts of Australia can expect to receive hotter-than-average temperatures this spring, as warm ocean currents hit the country’s east and northern coasts, the weather bureau has predicted.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says residents of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the tropical north can expect balmy daytime temperatures from September to November, as part of its three-month outlook.
It comes after Australia’s warmest winter weather since 1975, with July temperatures “very much above average over almost all of mainland Australia”, the BoM reported.
“Warmer-than-average ocean temperatures off the east coast and extending up around the northern coast as well [are] really influencing our temperature outlook for spring,” BoM’s acting head of climate prediction Felicity Gamble told The New Daily.
“Maximum temperatures are likely to be above average for much of the country really, but the strongest chances are in the southeast and in the tropical north.
“The chances of getting above-normal daytime temperatures exceed 80 per cent, so that’s a pretty strong signal.”
Ms Gamble said much of Australia can also expect milder overnight temperatures for the next three months.
“We’re seeing a similar sort of thing for overnight temperatures, so pretty mild overnight expected in spring, and the strongest signal is in the southeast once again, and across the tropical north. We’re seeing a bit of a swing towards higher than average,” she said.
Meanwhile, the southern half of Western Australia and South Australia are slightly less likely to experience these warmer temperatures, with the BoM signalling a 50 per cent chance of warmer-than-usual weather in those regions.
BoM senior hydrologist Robert Pipunic said cooler waters off the coast of Western Australia have left little moisture in the air to drive any rainfall, while warmer seas off the east coast will push temperatures higher.
“Daytime temperatures are likely to be warmer than average for most of the country, with the highest chances in the north and southeast,” Mr Pipunic said on Thursday.
“Likewise, overnight temperatures are also likely to be warmer than average in the north and eastern parts of Australia.”
Rain, rain gone away
A warm spring will also bring drier conditions for much of Australia, following the winter trend.
Less than 200 millimetres average rainfall is expected across most states from September-November, with Perth the only capital a chance to exceed its median rainfall.
Australia has experienced unusually dry winter months, with BoM recording below-average rainfall for the capital cities in the June-July period.
While July was wetter than the month prior, Australia saw a 39 per cent decrease in rainfall compared with last year with an average of 13.5 millimetres.
Queensland (45 per cent less), Victoria (27 per cent), Tasmania (13 per cent), and Western Australia (50 per cent) all recorded less-than- average July rainfall, while New South Wales recorded its lowest average since 2002.
The state saw a 71 per cent decrease with an average rainfall during July of just 11.5 millimetres.