PARTS of north east Australia might have received some long-awaited rain this month but according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the region looks likely to endure a drier than normal summer.
BOM’s national rainfall outlook for December to February, released today, shows the chances of exceeding the median rainfall during summer are 30 to 40 per cent over eastern Queensland, north east NSW, and the eastern Top End of the NT.
Conversely, the chance of exceeding the median rainfall is greater than 60pc over Tasmania, and the eastern regions of the Pilbara and Gascoyne in WA.
The chance of receiving a wetter or drier than normal summer period is roughly equal over the remainder of the country.
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains in a neutral state in the tropical Pacific and has since mid-2012.
Dynamical models surveyed by the Bureau suggest ENSO-neutral conditions are likely to persist at least for the austral summer, meaning there is no strong shift in the odds from the tropical Pacific in this outlook.
With major climate influences likely to remain neutral (and hence have lesser impact upon Australia), secondary influences, such as the pattern of warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures around the Australian continent are tending to drive the Australian climate.
On the temperature front, BOM reports warmer days are more likely over most of eastern Australia and the Top End of the NT, while cooler days are more likely in south west WA.
Warmer night-time temperatures are more likely over Queensland, the Top End of the NT, the north east half of NSW, north west coastal WA, and Tasmania.