Seasonal climate outlook January-March 2020

Bureau of Meteorology, December 20, 2019

Jan – Mar 2020 rainfall outlook:

THE rainfall outlook for January to March 2020 indicates most of the country will have roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average three months.

Parts of Cape York Peninsula are likely to be drier than average, and most of the Top End of the Northern Territory is likely to be wetter than average.

While outlooks for drier than average conditions ease heading into 2020, several months of above average rainfall would be needed to see a recovery from current long-term rainfall deficiencies.

February to April 2020 rainfall outlook:

Warmer days and nights likely for early 2020

For the fortnight covering the Christmas–New Year period (23 December to 5 January), days are likely to be warmer than average across most of the country, with much of New South Wales, Queensland and the eastern NT likely to see temperatures two to four degrees above average for the fortnight.

Daytime temperatures for January to March 2020 are likely to be warmer than average for Australia, with very high chances across much of the east and the north. February to April is also likely to be warmer than average Australia wide.

Warmer nights are likely for most of the country for January to March, except southern and western Tasmania and parts of the south-east mainland coast. Chances of warmer nights are very high (greater than 80 percent) for most of Australia, with chances reducing slightly in the south to south-east.


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 September to November 2019, issued in August 2019, with actual rainfall deciles recorded over the September to November 2019 period.




Source: Bureau of Meteorology



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  1. James Dare, December 25, 2019

    I don’t think that city folk realise this current drought is absolutely catastrophic. The rainfall has been decreasing for the past three years and in the past two years there has been virtually nothing. I am farming at Woodleigh in Queensland — which has been dairy farming now cattle farming — since the Woodleigh cheese factory was built in 1919. If the current rainfall occurred then, the area wouldn’t have been settled.

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