A dry autumn predicted for most of Australia

A dry autumn predicted for most of Australia
A dry autumn predicted for most of Australia
Warmer than usual daytime temperatures are very likely this fall for much of Australia. Photo: Visit Noosa

The Bureau of Meteorology has released its long-term forecast for autumn 2023 and says the coming months are likely to be drier and warmer than usual across most of Australia.

Warmer than usual daytime temperatures are very likely this autumn for much of Australia, while warmer nights are also likely in coastal areas of the mainland and particularly in Tasmania.

Dr Andrew Watkins, technical lead for the Bureau of Meteorology’s extended forecast, said drier than average conditions have emerged in some areas over the summer, including parts of southern Queensland, western of Tasmania and south-west Western Australia.

“Australia’s key weather factors are easing and are expected to be neutral over the coming months. When our climate factors are more neutral, autumn rainfall in southern Australia has generally been below average for the past few decades,” Dr Watkins said.

La Niña is coming to an end in the Pacific Ocean, with conditions likely to be neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña) in the fall. The Indian Ocean Dipole is neutral and has little influence on Australia’s climate during the northern wet season, which extends through April.

“With drier conditions appearing in some areas over the summer, and hot dry conditions likely in the autumn, some areas may continue to experience below average rainfall over the coming months,” said Dr. Watkins.

The Australian Fire Service has identified that most of Australia has normal autumn bushfire potential. However, areas with higher than normal bushfire risk include parts of New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

There is also a continued risk of grass fires in southern Australia after abundant vegetation growth in the second wettest spring on record in 2022 dried out over the summer.

For northern Australia, the rainy season continues through March and April. Tropical cyclones, tropical depressions, storms and active monsoon gusts can occur in the north.

During the northern rainy season, tropical weather systems can sometimes reach southern Australia. The possibility of more rainfall means that the risk of flooding remains, especially in areas where rivers and water reservoirs are still high.

Communities are encouraged to keep up to date with forecasts and warnings through the Bureau’s website and the BOM Weather app.


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