Forecast for dry winter
The Great Southern can expect a drier-than-average winter for 2017, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
With 152mm of rainfall so far this year, Albany is on track for its annual average rainfall but cool temperatures in the Indian Ocean and warmer ones in the Pacific are expected to limit rain on the South Coast.
BOM Albany station duty observer Jenny Feast said despite many classing 2016 as a wet year, the 914mm that fell was just below the 930mm annual average for Albany. “Last year was actually right on average but because we’ve had so many below-average years of rainfall, last year did appear to be wetter than normal,” she said.
Ms Feast said Albany would receive less rain than normal through the winter months.
“It does look like May will be quite dry, June will be about average but for the three months for Albany and the South Coast, it does look like we are expecting a drier-thanaverage winter,” she said
“At the moment, what we find is we’ve got cooler-thanaverage temperatures in the eastern Indian Ocean and then we’ve got warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.
“As a result of that, we tend to see higher rainfall throughout the northern parts of Australia, then the cooler temperatures in the Indian Ocean tend to depict less rainfall around the southern parts of Western Australia.”
Temperatures are also expected to be warmer in 2017, according to Ms Feast. “It looks like we will see above-average daytime temperatures — nighttime temperatures will also be warmer,” she said.
“They are influenced by that warming tropical Pacific sea surface temperature and the cooler Indian Ocean.”
Only 2mm of rain has fallen so far in May but a cold front is expected to hit Albany over the weekend.