The Bureau of Meteorology predicts half of Australia will be hit with above-median spring rains


The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that half of Australia will most likely experience a cold, wet spring.

According to an official outlook released on Thursday, there is an 80 per cent chance that nearly half of Australia will be hit with above-median rainfall levels from September to November. In a graphic shared by the Bureau, large swathes of the country are expected to be affected, from the tip of Darwin to almost all of New South Wales.

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In September, rainfall totals of between 25mm and 50mm are expected in Sydney and Brisbane, while patches of NSW could record up to 100mm. Victoria seems to be expecting a wetter spring, with 50mm to 100mm expected.

Some plots could even receive up to 200 mm of precipitation.

However, a largely dry September to November is expected for Western Australia. This is especially true for residents of the southwest, where below-median rainfall is expected. The majority of the state is unlikely to receive any rain in September, but forecast totals will increase near the southwestern coast of the state.

Temperatures also appear unlikely to reach the median maximums recorded in previous years. Bar patches of northern Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and far north Queensland, the rest of Australia has less than a 50% chance of exceeding the median maximum spring temperature.

The BOM said the majority of the northeastern half of the Northern Territory, as well as Queensland, New South Wales, northern and eastern Victoria and parts of eastern Tasmania “have more than double the average chance of unusually heavy rainfall” between September and November. They said it would be the wettest 20% of spring records from 1981 to 2018.

“There is a good chance (over 80%) of above-median rainfall from September to November for much of the eastern half of the continent, with the chance gradually decreasing in Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory. North; below-median rainfall is likely for much of western Tasmania and south-west Western Australia,” reads the recent Climate Outlook report.

The Bureau also clarified that the past accuracy of their climate forecasts was “moderate to very high”, except in parts of the southwestern interior areas of WA.

Winter ends with an outbreak of “multi-storms”

After a calm weekend, a widespread storm is expected to hit four states from Monday, said Sky News meteorologist Alison Osborne.

A band of rain emerging at 7am Monday in the Northern Territory will push into eastern Queensland on Tuesday.

“These storms can be quite rough with the risk of a few isolated heavy falls, usually in the midwest of the state,” Ms. Osborne said.

Another band of rain will hit inland NSW and Victoria on Monday evening, with a “dramatic cool change” forecast for Tuesday morning. Although the drop in temperature will see the rains dissipate, Ms Osborne warns it could leave several rivers flooded with rain.

“As this band of showers and storms stretches inland from New South Wales, they meet on Victoria, with heavy rain, an additional risk of flash flooding and flooding. the river and then quite a dramatic cool change that will clear most of the rain,” Ms Osborne said.

“The heaviest falls are expected to occur in Far North Queensland.”

The shock of climatic factors

Added to the high probability of a wet spring is the combined presence of a La Niña dipole and a negative Indian Ocean dipole (IOD).

The possibility of a consecutive triple La Niña weather event has been raised to around 70%, with the BOM declaring a “La Niña alert” in its ENSO outlook. The climatic factor increases the chance of above average rainfall over northern and eastern Australia in spring and summer.

La Niña refers to changes in sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, in which the eastern Pacific is cooler than normal and the waters of the western tropical Pacific are warmer than normal.

A negative IOD is also expected to continue into November, before returning to neutral levels in January. The weather event is associated with above-average precipitation from winter to spring.

If a La Niña is confirmed this year, it will be the second consecutive year in which La Niña and a negative IOD will collide.

Previously, the two climatic factors also combined in 2010, which also saw southeast Queensland hit by record flooding.

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