While this weekend is expected to be a chilly one – with some cities dropping as low as minus 6 degrees Celsius in parts of southern Australia – climatologists are predicting an unseasonably warm winter.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) climate outlook has predicted warmer days are not far away, with an 80 per cent likelihood of temperatures being above average for the winter season.
BOM climatologist Felicity Gamble told The New Daily that southern parts of Australia were also tipped to experience a drier-than-average three months — including Victoria, Tasmania, south-east New South Wales and south-west Western Australia.
She said that over the past few decades, there has been a trend, nationally and globally, for steadily rising temperatures across all seasons.
“We’ve had a dry June as well and we’ll see a similar pattern continue,” Ms Gamble said.
“There’s been a lot more high-pressure systems over southern Australia than usual around this time of year. Cold fronts haven’t been able to push far enough north, so we’re not getting the rainfall we’d normally be seeing.
“We’ll also be seeing more clear skies, and warmer daytime and night temperatures overall. But due to the clear skies, some nights will cool down quite a bit and we will see more frost.”
She said it was not possible at this stage to estimate the extent to which temperatures would rise above average over the winter period.
Impact of a dry winter
While good news for some – the warmer winter may make it easier to get up in the mornings and wearing one less layer of woollens – it is bad news for others.
The BOM predicts rainfall from July to September is likely to be below average over parts of southwest WA and south-east Australia.
“Parts of Western Australia have had pretty dry conditions over June, and the farmers are starting to feel the effects of that,” Ms Gamble said.
“And this is expected to continue throughout the winter. They’ll be having concerns about their crop harvests because of the unusual conditions.”
With less cloud cover, land is able to heat up and there is no cooling effect during the day. At night the heat escapes, as there are no clouds to trap the it, which can lead to some chilly mornings.
A cold weekend
BOM senior meteorologist Ronik Kumar told The New Daily most of Australia could expect a weekend of showers.
Mr Kumar said a series of cold fronts would mean cold air, showers, possible fog and frost, and snowfall in the mountains.
Canberra would drop to a minimum low of minus 6 degrees Celsius Saturday and minus 4 degrees Celsius on Friday, he said.
Meanwhile, areas of NSW were warned to prepare for a drop in temperatures to single digits — about 8 degrees Celsius overnight with a high of 17 degrees Celsius.
“Melbourne will be in the low teens, dropping as low as three degrees overnight and reach the low teens during the day,” Mr Kumar said.
“Showers in south-east Queensland should clear by late Friday but coastal showers, roughly north of Townsville, will remain.
“Tasmania could drop as low as 1 [degree Celsius] degree with a cold maximum of about 12 [degree Celsius].”
*All weekend forecasts are valid as of Thursday 3.30pm.