DISCUSSION: The upcoming autumn (March to May) in Australia is expected to be warmer and drier than normal. The top figure above shows the probability that the maximum temperature over the March-May time period will exceed the median high temperature and indicates that above-normal maximum temperatures are anticipated across the entire continent except for northwest Australia. The figure immediately above indicates the likelihood that the median amount of rainfall will be exceeded over the autumn period and shows that south and central portion of the continent have a relatively small chance of receiving the normal amount of rain for this time of year. Given that the El Nino/Southern Oscillation cycle and other interannual climate drivers are neutral or inactive at this time, this outlook is primarily based on the expectation of above-normal atmospheric pressure which will act to block any extra-tropical low pressure systems approaching from the west or south that would otherwise bring cooler and/or rainier weather. One important implication of this outlook is that there may be a heightened risk of brushfires over much of Australia this upcoming fall.
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©2017 Meteorologist Dr. Ken Leppert II