Bureau pre­dicts warm and dry win­ter

Mansfield Courier - - PROPERTY GUIDE -

THE Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy has now re­leased its 2018 Win­ter Out­look, with warmer and drier than av­er­age con­di­tions ex­pected across large parts of the coun­try.

The win­ter out­look fol­lows one of Aus­tralia’s warm­est au­tumns on record and its sec­ond-warm­est sum­mer on record.

In Vic­to­ria, 2018 has been in the top five warm­est au­tumns on record for day­time tem­per­a­tures.

It has also been dry in most parts of the state, es­pe­cially in the north and the east.

Ac­cord­ing to the bureau, it’s likely that this au­tumn will have been one of the top 10 dri­est on record.

The out­look sug­gests win­ter rain­fall is likely to be below av­er­age for New South Wales, South Aus­tralia, north­ern Vic­to­ria and western parts of Western Aus­tralia.

The shift to­wards drier con­di­tions is par­tic­u­larly strong for ar­eas around the Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin, eastern NSW and north­ern Vic­to­ria, which have a 7080 per cent chance of below av­er­age rain­fall.

Else­where around the coun­try and along the coast in Vic­to­ria, the chances of ex­ceed­ing av­er­age rain­fall are roughly 50 per cent.

Day­time tem­per­a­tures across much of the coun­try are likely to be warmer than av­er­age, with the great­est chance (more than 80 per cent) in New South Wales, Vic­to­ria and Tas­ma­nia.

Overnight tem­per­a­tures are also ex­pected to be above av­er­age across the coun­try, ex­cept for parts of the trop­i­cal north.

Aus­tralia’s main cli­mate driv­ers, El-Nino - South­ern Os­cil­la­tion (ENSO) and the In­dian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are cur­rently in a neu­tral phase, mean­ing there is no strong shift in the out­look to­wards wide­spread wet­ter or drier con­di­tions.

Bureau cli­ma­tol­o­gist Jonathan Pol­lock said when ENSO and IOD are neu­tral, other cli­mate driv­ers have a greater in­flu­ence.

“We’re ex­pect­ing warmer than nor­mal tem­per­a­tures in the Tas­man Sea this win­ter and as­so­ci­ated low­erthan-nor­mal air pres­sure,” Mr Pol­lock said.

“This would mean a weak­en­ing of west­erly winds over south­ern Aus­tralia that nor­mally draw cold fronts up from the South­ern Ocean.

“The out­look for win­ter in Vic­to­ria sees a more than 80 per cent chance that max­i­mum tem­per­a­tures will be warmer than av­er­age.

“As a re­sult of this, we’re ex­pect­ing to see below av­er­age win­ter rain­falls for western parts of Western Aus­tralia and for most of New South Wales ex­tend­ing across the bor­der into south­ern Queens­land and north­ern Vic­to­ria.

“For most other parts the chances of above or below av­er­age rain­fall is roughly equal.”

Mr Pol­lock said snow­fall would also be of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est as we head into win­ter.

“Snow­fall is dif­fi­cult to pre­dict over long time frames but the dry out­look for June sug­gests a later than nor­mal start for the snow sea­son,” he said.

“How­ever, when ENSO and IOD are neu­tral we have his­tor­i­cally seen deeper-than-av­er­age snow cover by mid-sea­son.”

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