Can you believe it’s almost winter? Scary, but true. As we head into a new season, it’s always good to know what weather to expect. And this winter is no different. Is it going to be a one or two blanket kind of deal? Is it going to be a sunny or rainy winter? (There’s a big difference.)
Thankfully, the Bureau of Meteorology is here with its climate outlook for the season, which should help us prepare for the cold months ahead. So, what is Australia in for over the next few months?
Cold, but not too cold
In a potentially worrying sign of climate change but a good sign for our heaters, winter this year is set to be warmer than average. A mild winter, even.
BOM reports that maximum temperatures are likely to be warmer throughout winter, particularly in coastal areas of Australia. The June-August climate outlook reports minimum winter temperatures across the country will also be slightly above average.
This comes off the back of a cooler than average April, particularly for Canberra which measured a record six nights hitting sub-zero temperatures.
However, for those in Western Australia, things are likely to be a little cooler than average in June but warmer than average in July.
BOM expects temperatures for winter to be warmer than average nationwide with 80% chances of this in the eastern two-thirds of Australia. This should continue through June, July and September.
So maybe a one blanket kind of winter?
Rain is here to stay
The country has been copping a lot of rain recently and, sorry mates, but this is set to continue into the winter season.
From June to August, rainfall is likely to be above average for most of the northern, central and eastern parts of Australia and even moving into South Australia. Meanwhile, areas in western and southern WA have chances of below-average rainfall in winter.
This rain is great for all our farms, but the BOM did warn that wet soil and catchments paired with further rainfall could result in more widespread floods, particularly in eastern Australia.
And, while rainfall averages are expected to be higher, it is still technically the dry season and the Bureau reports that there could be higher fire potential in the northern parts of the NT.
Climate drivers like the El Niño southern oscillation are in neutral now. However, the extra rainfall in Australia can be traced back to parts of the Indian Ocean that are warmer than average.
So, what we can take away from this is that while rain and cold don’t make for a fun time, it won’t be as stupidly cold as past winters. Although, you still have my permission to invest in a bunch of winter woollies.
This article has been updated with information from the latest Bureau of Meteoroloy climate outlook data.