Climate outlook for November to January

Issued 26 October 2017

Climate outlook overview

  • The November to January rainfall outlook, issued 26 October 2017, shows most of the country has around a 50% chance of above average rainfall.
  • November is likely to be drier than usual for most of WA, SA and Victoria. The chance of getting above normal rainfall is below 30% in the southern half of WA.
  • November to January daytime and overnight temperatures are likely to be warmer than average for most of the country, with the highest chances over Tasmania, Victoria and northern Australia. Elsewhere, the chance of a warmer three months is close to 50%.
  • The Pacific Ocean is likely to continue cooling towards La Niña levels over the coming months. However, the ocean warmth that typically appears to the north of Australia and in the eastern Indian Ocean is unlikely to develop. This means that Australia is unlikely to receive widespread heavy rainfall that is typical of around two thirds of previous La Niña events. See the Climate Influences section for more information.

No shift towards significantly wetter or drier across most of Australia

  • For the three months November to January, most of the country has just a 50% chance of being wetter than average.
  • November is likely to be drier for most of WA, SA and Victoria. The chance of getting above normal rainfall is below 30% in the southern half of WA.
  • The Pacific Ocean is likely to continue cooling towards La Niña levels over the coming months. However, the ocean warmth that typically appears to the north of Australia and in the eastern Indian Ocean is unlikely to develop. This means that Australia is unlikely to receive the widespread heavy rainfall that is typical of around two thirds of previous La Niña events.
  • Historical outlook accuracy for November to January is moderate for western WA and the eastern parts of mainland Australia, but generally low elsewhere. See map for more detail.

Warmer three months likely for most of Australia

  • Daytime and overnight temperatures for November to January are likely to be warmer than average for most of the country, with highest chances over Tasmania, southern Victoria, and the tropical north.
  • Chances of warmer than average temperatures for the three months are close to 50% for southern WA, southeast Queensland and northeast NSW.
  • For November, daytime temperatures are likely to be warmer than average across the country except for southeast Queensland, southern parts of WA and SA, and eastern Victoria.
  • Historical accuracy for maximum temperatures is moderate to high over most of Australia, except far western WA, and parts of northern Queensland and the NT, where accuracy is low. Minimum temperature accuracy is moderate to high for most of Australia.

Climate influences

  • The Pacific Ocean is likely to continue cooling towards La Niña levels over the coming months.
  • However, given the competing influence of other climate drivers (weakly warm waters to the north of Australia, and cooler waters in the Indian Ocean), current outlooks do not favour widespread rainfall across Australia that is typical of most (two thirds) of past La Niña events.
  • Ocean temperatures around Australia are forecast to be near average during the November to January period, which is also providing little push towards wetter or drier conditions.
  • In addition to the natural drivers such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and the IOD, Australian climate patterns are being influenced by the long-term increasing trend in global air and ocean temperatures.
  • Bureau climatologists continually monitor the climate for any significant developments, with information on El Niño/La Niña and IOD events available fortnightly via the ENSO Wrap-Up. For a summary of Pacific and Indian Ocean outlooks, please see the Climate Model Summary.