Australian Government

A warmer end to 2008 indicated for much of Australia

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Source: Australian Government

The national outlook for average December quarter (October to December) maximum temperatures shows a moderate to strong shift in the odds favouring warmer than normal conditions over much of eastern and southern Australia. Warmer nights are also more likely over much of Australia. The pattern of seasonal temperature odds across Australia is mostly a result of continued warmth in the central to southeastern Indian Ocean, especially off the west coast of WA.

The chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature for October to December is between 60 and 75% for much of Australia, including the eastern states, most of SA, eastern and northern parts of the NT, and southern WA. The chances of above average maximum temperatures increase to 75 to 85% over southeastern parts of SA, southern NSW, Victoria and Tasmania (see map). So for every ten years with ocean patterns like the current about six to eight years are expected to be warmer than average across the country, while about two to four are expected to be cooler.

Across the rest of WA and the NT, the chances of a warmer than average December quarter are between 45 and 60%, indicating roughly equal chances of warmer or cooler than normal conditions.

Outlook confidence is related to how consistently the Pacific and Indian Oceans affect Australian temperatures. During October to December, history shows this effect on maximum temperatures to be moderately consistent across large parts of the country, with the exception of the southwest NT and far east WA border area, where it is only weakly or very weakly consistent (see background information).

The chances of exceeding the median minimum temperature for October to December are also high for large parts of Australia, ranging from around 60% in the southeast, to 75 to 80% over northern Australia and southern and central parts of WA. The odds increase to greater than 80% over northern Queensland and southern parts of WA (see map).

History shows the oceans' effect on minimum temperatures during October to December to be moderately consistent over most of Queensland, NSW, SA and southern WA, weakly consistent in much of Victoria and Tasmania, and only very weakly consistent across much of the NT and far northern WA.

Click on the maps above for larger versions of the maps. Use the reload/refresh button to ensure the latest forecast maps are displayed.

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