WHILE rainfall is likely to be above average for most of the state during winter, the Bureau of Meteorology has released data which shows “no strong push towards wetter or drier than average conditions in east Gippsland”.
In its winter outlook, the bureau has predicted days are likely to be warmer than average in the east, with overnight temperatures likely to be warmer than average for the entire state.
It has been wetter than average for most of Victoria, and the state as a whole is on track for its wettest autumn since 1989.
Days were cooler than average for most of the state, away from east Gippsland and parts of the coast.
Overnight temperatures were close to average, but with many cool nights in March and May.
The bureau’s manager of long-range forecasting, Dr Andrew Watkins, said there were only a few areas across the country that weren’t looking at a wetter than average winter.
“The only exceptions are the coastal fringes of New South Wales and eastern Victoria, parts of Tasmania and areas of south-west Western Australia where the outlook isn’t pushing towards wetter or drier than average conditions.”
Dr Watkins said the outlook was being largely driven by warmer than average ocean temperatures off north-west WA, as well as warm ocean temperatures in the western Pacific.
“Ocean temperatures in the eastern Indian Ocean are currently warmer than normal, and our models are predicting they will warm further throughout the winter months,” he said.
“When warm sea surface temperatures occur closer to Australia, weather patterns shift towards us too, favouring more cloud and rainfall across the country.
“We last saw this happen in 2016, when a strong negative Indian Ocean Dipole formed to the west of Australia.
“This was the last time we saw tropical moisture from the northern Indian Ocean deliver good winter rainfall to large parts of Australia.
“We aren’t guaranteed the same results as 2016, but the warmer ocean temperatures surrounding the continent will push us in the direction of better than average rainfall.
“As always, it’s important people use the outlooks in conjunction with all of the bureau’s other tools to make decisions, including the seven-day forecast, which will provide details on potential rainfall for the immediate days ahead.
“When we look at the expected temperatures, they really fall in line with the expected rainfall conditions.
“Areas with a higher chance of above average rainfall are also looking at increased chances of cooler than average days because they are more likely to have cloud cover and more evaporative cooling in the coming months.
“Conversely, it means our nights are more likely to be warmer than average, because that cloud cover will prevent heat from escaping during the evenings.”