February to April 2021 rainfall outlook:
February–April likely wetter than average for Australia, particularly Queensland
FEBRUARY to April is likely to be a wetter than average period across much of mainland Australia this year, with the strongest chances of above average rainfall (greater than 70 percent) likely in northern Queensland.
February is likely to be wetter than average along the Queensland and New South Wales coasts (greater than 60pc chance). Elsewhere there is no significant shift towards a wetter or drier than average month.
Rainfall for the fortnight 1 to 14 February is likely to be wetter than average for parts of the Kimberley and Cape York Peninsula (greater than 60pc chance) while drier than average conditions are more likely over the Northern Territory, South Australia and interior parts of QLD and NSW (greater than 60pc chance).
While the outlooks indicate near- to above-average conditions for southern Australia, this is their drier season, so rainfall (even if above average) is not likely to be sufficient to relieve long-term rainfall deficits.
February 2021 rainfall outlook:
March 2021 rainfall outlook:
‘First look’ March to May 2021 outlook:
Warmer days likely in most coastal regions for February–April; warmer nights almost Australia-wide
Mean maximum temperatures for February to April are very likely to be higher than the long-term average across Tasmania (greater than 80pc chance) as well as most of the Australian coastline. The outlook for February indicates a similar pattern though there is a greater area that is more likely to experience above-average temperatures, particularly over northern Australia.
Mean minimum temperatures for February to April are very likely (greater than 80pc chance) to be above the long-term average across most of Australia, although chances are slightly weaker (60 to 70pc chance) over the WA interior and adjacent SA and NT. The outlook for February is similar though chances of warmer or cooler conditions for south-east Western Australia and western SA are close to equal.
Mean maximum temperatures for the fortnight 1 to 14 February are likely (greater than 65pc chance) to be above the long-term average for NT, QLD, northern NSW and western WA (greater than 65pc chance). Cooler than average temperatures are likely for most of the remainder of the mainland, especially south-east WA, north-west Vic and south-west NSW (greater than 65pc chance). A similar outlook exists for mean minimum temperatures.
Maximum temperature outlook Feb to April 2021:
Minimum temperature outlook Feb to April 2021:
Source: Bureau of Meteorology.
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Previous forecast versus actual rainfall
Maps below compare BOM’s rainfall forecast for October to December 2020, issued 24 September 2020, with actual rainfall recorded over the October to December 2020 period.
Forecast median rainfall October to December 2020:
Actual rainfall recorded October to December 2020:
Source: Bureau of Meteorology