Hot and dry autumn on the back of a record-hot summer

Australians can expect a warm and dry autumn.

Australians can expect a warm and dry autumn. Photo: Getty

As the second-hottest summer on record begins to dwindle, warm weather looks to linger, with Australia expecting higher than average temperatures and low rainfall this autumn.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s climate outlook for March to May anticipates drier-than average conditions for parts of central and eastern Australia.

“The warm weather hasn’t gone yet and there will be more 30 degree days before the month is out,” BoM senior climatologist Dr Andrew Watkins told The New Daily.

Oceans and bays stay warmer longer than air does, so going to the beach is still on the cards for a little while longer yet.”

Dr Watkins said the summer had been exceptionally warm and dry for much of eastern Australia, while there had been record-breaking rainfall in the tropical north of Western Australia.

“Autumn is looking warm and dry for many areas, with odds favouring a delayed autumn break for the southern cropping season,” he said.

Dr Watkins told The New Daily the first “autumn break” or the first significant rain event leading up to winter would likely be late again for farmers in southern Australia.

“Farmers with winter crops may have drier soil and hope the rain comes around Anzac Day, but it could be later than that,” he said.

The climatologist said predictions were based on historical events showing an autumn season on the back of a weak La Niña tends to be drier than average.

Wineglass Bay

It’s been great weather to be out on the water. Photo: Getty

However, record-high water temperatures in the Tasman Sea could increase rainfall from any east coast lows that form later in the autumn and winter.

“Ocean conditions around Australia have been warmer than normal, keeping temperatures warmer than normal along the east coast,” Dr Watkins said.

“This La Niña has only had a weak influence on Australian climate, particularly when compared to the last La Niña between 2010 and 2012 when Australia experienced its wettest two years on record.”

Dr Watkins said the odds for a drier autumn might be wrong in Queensland, where a six-year dry spell had been broken with a recent burst in wet weather.

Severe storms hit far north north Queensland towns, isolating communities swamped by rainfall totals of 200 to 250 mm in 24 hours.

“Even through the odds were favouring a dry season with 60 per cent probability, the 40 per cent chance of it being wet has come true,” he said.

Dr Watkins said it was “too soon” to predict the winter season, but if conditions stayed neutral, the season would not be particularly wet or cool.

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