Drought conditions are likely to intensify, with warmer and drier than average conditions predicted to continue across Australia this spring.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s latest climate outlook predicts drier than average conditions across most of Australia during September and October, following one of the driest and warmest winters on record. It followed a dry autumn, and before that a dry summer.
“A drier and warmer than average spring would likely mean intensification of the existing drought conditions across parts of eastern Australia and an increase in bushfire potential,” the BOM says in its outlook, released Thursday.
“Much of eastern and southern mainland Australia has experienced a very dry winter and start to the year, so an outlook with increased chances of drier conditions indicates areas currently experiencing drought are less likely to see significant respite in the coming three months.”
#Spring 2018 #BOMOutlook now available: below-average rainfall and warmer than average days/nights likely for most of Australia ????️ ????️ ???? ????️ View the outlook for your location (now with increased forecast resolution) & full video at https://t.co/uiBc8gq6s3. pic.twitter.com/VrqmKlviqp
— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) August 30, 2018
The chances of spring rain are below average for much of the country, the BOM reports, particularly southwest Western Australia, most of South Australia, southern parts of the Northern Territory, inland NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, and north Queensland.
Andrew Watkins from BOM told The Guardian that parts of Australia had received less than half of their average rainfall in winter.
“We might expect to see summer start a little early this year in many places, a chance of an early heatwave is certainly on the cards for southern and south-eastern parts of Australia,” Watkins said.
“Unfortunately no area is looking at good odds of above average rainfall, particularly in south-eastern Australia. We might have to wait till as late as autumn in 2019 to start seeing some recovery rains in the drought areas.”