Dry goes on and on: grim spring outlook

Another drier than average spring for NSW predicts Bureau


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The grim rainfall outlook for Australia over the next three months.

The grim rainfall outlook for Australia over the next three months.

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Only far western NSW may get above average rain in the next three months.

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THE weather outlook is not looking any better with drier than average conditions predicted for much of NSW and warmer day temperatures highly likely for the next three months.

Meantime, it is highly likely the fire season will be brought forward in many areas of NSW as the landscape continues to dry.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is refusing to budge and its positive reading is cutting any chance of above average rainfall for vast parts of the continent where rain is desperately needed.

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Bureau of Meteorology climatologist, Jonathan Pollock, said the outlook was a general dry pattern in eastern and south-eastern Australia from August to October.

"The only places in NSW where there could better than average rain is in inland NSW and the north-west corner. At least there's a little ray of hope in that area."

"At this stage there is no drought-breaking rains predicted."

Mr Pollock also said daytime temperatures through spring were predicted to be warmer than normal - and there was a high chance of that happening.

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"What is happening is a fairly normal rainfall response to that positive IOD pattern."

The IOD would not break down until later in the year when the monsoon arrived north of Australia.

The IOD occurs in a positive (dry) range when the sea temperatures are warm near the Cape of Good Hope and cool near Sumatra.

The system of air hanging over the sea in these areas keeps fuelling the IOD as it stood.

The Southern Oscillation Index in the Pacific was also not giving hope of any breakdown from a neutral pattern to drier or wetter conditions.

The lack of rain was also due to warmer than normal waters to the north of Australia and colder than normal water to the south of the continent.

"A drier than average August to October is likely for large parts of the country, including much of eastern and northern Australia and parts of southwest WA and southern SA," the Bureau said in its outlook.

"The month of August is likely to be drier over the tropical north and extending down eastern Queensland and NSW into northern Victoria. Conversely, southeast WA is likely to be wetter than average, with the rest of the country having roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average month. It should be noted that August is typically a dry month for the tropical north, apart from Queensland's east coast.

"Historical outlook accuracy for August to October is moderate to high for most of the country but low in parts of southeast and southwest Australia."

The DPI also said the influence of the Indian Ocean Dipole "remains the dominant feature of the forecast".

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