November 28, 2019
The Bureau of Meteorology has no good news for farmers in its 2019-20 Summer Outlook released on Thursday … there’s more dry weather ahead.
BOM has predicted a high likelihood of warmer-than-average days and nights over summer; and a high likelihood of drier-than-average conditions for most of the State, with highest odds in southern Queensland.
This follows one of the five driest springs on record for Queensland, and especially dry in the south-east.
Looking at Australia as a whole, BOM predicted that large parts of the country were likely to have a continuation of the warmer and drier-than-average conditions during summer.
The climate outlook shows a high likelihood of warmer-than-average days and nights for most of the country, while rainfall was likely to be below average for large parts of the nation’s east.
Only coastal areas of Western Australia, stretching from the Midwest to the Kimberley, were showing increased odds of wetter-than-average conditions.
Head of long-range forecasts, Dr Andrew Watkins (above), said Australia’s outlook was being influenced by one of Australia’s main climate drivers.
“The key culprit for our current and expected conditions is one of the strongest positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events on record,” Dr Watkins said.
“A positive IOD means we have cooler-than-average water pooling off Indonesia, and this means we see less rain-bearing weather systems, and warmer-than-average temperatures for large parts of the country.
“The positive IOD means we’re also expecting a delayed onset for the northern monsoon, one of the key drivers for tropical rainfall during the summer months.
“At this stage we’re expecting the onset of the northern monsoon by mid-summer, which should see the odds for closer to average rainfall increasing from January and into February.”
Dr Watkins said the outlook was an important reminder for communities to be alert to the potential for severe weather risks over the coming months.
“We’ve already seen significant bushfire activity during spring, and the outlook for drier and warmer-than-average conditions will maintain that heightened risk.
“This outlook also means the risk of heatwaves is increased, so it’s important the community stays up-to-date with the latest information and advice from authorities and the Bureau’s heatwave forecasts and warnings.
“Even with a drier-than-average outlook, localised flooding remains a risk under particular meteorological conditions such as thunderstorms, and of course communities in the north need to be prepared at this time of year for tropical cyclones.”