BOM releases autumn 2020 climate outlook

Bureau of Meteorology February 27, 2020

Wetter for the south, drier for the north

Chance of exceeding median rainfall March to May 2020, map issued February 27. Source: BOM

Rainfall outlook for March

The rainfall outlook for March shows southern WA, southern SA, as well as western and central parts of both Victoria and NSW have an increased chance of being wetter than average (60–70% chance).

However, northern WA, and large areas of northern parts of the NT and Queensland are likely to have a drier month (60–70% chance, up to 75% chance in northern WA).

The chances of a wetter or drier than average autumn (March to May) are roughly equal for most of Australia. However, scattered parts of the tropical north have a slightly increased chance of being drier than average (60–65% chance), while southern WA, southern SA, western Victoria and southwest NSW have a slightly increased chance of being wetter than average (60–70% chance, up to 75% chance in southern WA).

Rainfall outlook for April

While recent rainfall over parts of eastern Australia has eased the dry in a number of areas, long-term rainfall deficiencies continue for almost a third of the country. Several months of above average rainfall may be required to replenish water storages and raise streamflows.

Major Australian climate drivers such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are currently neutral, and are forecast to remain neutral through autumn.

When these major climate drivers are neutral, widespread above or below average seasonal rainfall becomes less likely.


‘First look’ April to June rainfall outlook

Warmer autumn days and nights likely for most of Australia

Daytime temperatures for autumn (March to May) are likely to be above average across most of Australia, although days have roughly equal chances of being above or below average in the south.

Autumn night-time temperatures are very likely to be warmer than average for most Australia (greater than 80% chance in northern and western Australia, 60-80% chance in the southeast).

April to June is also likely to see warmer than average days and nights for most of the country.

Warmer seas around Australia and long-term climate change is likely influencing this temperature outlook. Australia’s climate has warmed by around 1.4 °C since

Chance of exceeding median minimum temperature

Source: Bureau of Meteorology. To view more outlook maps for coming weeks and months click here


Comparison – previous forecast versus actual rainfall

Maps below compare BOM’s rainfall forecast for November 2019 to January 2020, issued 31 October 2019, with actual rainfall recorded over the November 2019 to January 2020 period.




Source: Bureau of Meteorology



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -