What you will find on this page: State of the Climate 2018 report; State of the Climate Report 2016 (video); climate zones on the move; Australia’s changing rainfall zones; BOM UPDATES: ENSO Wrap-up (El Nino/La Nina); climate outlook update (video); climate outlook – monthly & seasonal; latest drought statement; heatwave outlook; Water in Australia 2014-2015 Report; monthly water update; Australian landscape water balance; Special Climate Statements;
Where the rubber hits the road – what IS the weather doing?
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere “behaves” over relatively long periods of time. (NASA)
The Climatedogs animation series is an award winning series of short animated videos produced by DEPI. The animations explain what drives the climate in Victoria, and how climate drivers are changing over time. Access here for more information
- Oceans around Australia have warmed by around 1 °C since 1910, contributing to longer and more frequent marine heatwaves.
- Sea levels are rising around Australia, increasing the risk of inundation.
- The oceans around Australia are acidifying (the pH is decreasing).
- April to October rainfall has decreased in the southwest of Australia. Across the same region May–July rainfall has seen the largest decrease, by around 20 per cent since 1970.
- There has been a decline of around 11 per cent in April–October rainfall in the southeast of Australia since the late 1990s.
- Rainfall has increased across parts of northern Australia since the 1970s.
- Streamflow has decreased across southern Australia. Streamflow has increased in northern Australia where rainfall has increased.
- There has been a long‑term increase in extreme fire weather, and in the length of the fire season, across large parts of Australia
Rule of Thumb; For every one degree increase in global average temperature the climate zones can move 150kms.
As the planet warms, Earth’s climate zones are shifting at an accelerating pace….The acceleration of change means that the species inhabiting each zone have less time to adapt to the climatic changes…. “The warmer the climate gets, the faster the climate zones are shifting. This could make it harder for plants and animals to adjust.” Read More here & here
According to research in Nature Climate Change, with a warming of 2°C, about 5% of land would shift into a new climate zone. As the temperatures rise another 2°C, 10% of the land area shifts to a new zone.
The results of a study published in the journal Biological Conservation recently concluded that in Australia, the climate is warming to an extent that many specialised tree species that require cooler climates are struggling. Typically, these trees would start to shift to cooler environments, but as Craig Costion explained “they already live on mountain tops…they have no other place to go.”
The Bureau of Meteorology Newsroom has been designed to provide material that can be easily sourced and referenced by journalists in media coverage of weather, warnings and other information of public interest. Access Newsroom here
Issued on ext issue
El Niño ALERT; likelihood of El Niño in 2019 increases
The ENSO Outlook has been raised to El Niño ALERT. This means the chance of El Niño forming in autumn is around 70%; triple the normal likelihood. The tropical Pacific Ocean has warmed since late January 2019 and has been touching on El Niño thresholds for three consecutive weeks. Model outlooks suggest this warming is likely to be sustained throughout autumn and into winter. There has been some atmospheric response – but a consistent signal in both the oceans and atmosphere is required for an event to be declared and for climate influences to be felt globally. El Niño ALERT is not a guarantee that El Niño will occur; it is an indication that most typical precursors of an event are in place. El Niño events typically develop in autumn, mature during winter and spring before decaying in late summer and autumn.
Climate outlook overview (access full outlook here)
- The February to April 2019 climate outlook, issued 17 January 2019, indicates a drier than median three months is likely for most of WA, western parts of northern NT and SA, and much of eastern mainland Australia. The rest of the country shows no strong push towards a wetter or drier than median season.
- Warmer than median days and nights are likely for almost all of Australia for February to April. For daytime temperatures, the chances of being warmer than median are very high, greater than 80% for most of the country.
- Tropical Pacific waters are neutral, but near El Niño levels. The atmospheric component of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation has not responded to the warmer waters yet, meaning an El Niño event has not become established. The Bureau’s model suggests tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures are likely to reach El Niño levels through early autumn and then return to neutral.
- This outlook is showing little signal from any of the typical Australian climate drivers, with most in a neutral phase. Therefore, local effects, such as the ocean temperatures around Australia, are likely to influence the outlook.
The Heatwave Forecast is a Bureau of Meteorology product that shows the location of heatwaves, severe heatwaves and extreme heatwaves for the last two three-day periods and the next five three-day periods. It uses some analysis Numerical Weather Prediction model data, not the Official Forecast data. Please refer to official Bureau of Meteorology products for information on how hot each day and night will be during the three day period. Click on image to access BOM site.
April 2016: Just when we thought summer was coming to an end, a prolonged heatwave affected much of Australia during late February and March 2016. A Special Climate Statement includes information and maps about this extended heatwave.
It developed in northern Australia during the second half of February, where temperatures were well above normal from the second week of February onwards. For example, at Julia Creek in Queensland, a run of 21 consecutive days of 40 °C or above began on 12 February, peaking in the last few days of the month. Over the final fortnight of February, maximum temperatures were at least 2 °C above average over most of tropical Australia, and 4–6 °C above average over parts of northwestern Queensland. Read More in BOM’s Special Climate Statement
Water in Australia – 2014-2015 BOM Report
Water in Australia 2014–15 describes the characteristics of the country’s water resources, availability and use from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 in the context of climatic conditions, and past water availability and use. In 2014–15, Australia generally experienced below-average rainfall (10 per cent less than the national average since 1910–11) with large seasonal and regional variation, including below-average rainfall throughout the east, and above-average rainfall in the central north, northwest and southeast. Mainly in the eastern parts of Australia, these patterns were influenced by near-El Niño conditions in spring 2014, evolving into El Niño by May 2015. Read More here
BOM Monthly Water Update
The BOM Monthly Water Update provides an overview of rainfall patterns and streamflow status across Australia. Rainfall is a key driver of streamflow and is shown alongside flows from over 222 gauging stations, across 9 of the 13 topographic drainage divisions in Australia. The Monthly Water Update interprets the hydrological status of surface water flows each month using provisional information from data providers.
BOM Australian Landscape Water Balance
Details accessed through date and location – go here The landscape water balance is the sum of the hydrological processes that keep water moving through a landscape—recharging groundwater, filling streams and flushing water through wetlands. This water balance also determines how much moisture is in the soil—a vital input for seasonal planting and crop production decisions.