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;
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
Positive Indian Ocean Dipole pattern continues The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral. The Indian Ocean is expected to be the dominant driver of Australia’s climate over the coming months. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) index has been above the positive IOD threshold for four of the past five weeks, with values strengthening in the past month. However, the broader Indian Ocean patterns of sea surface temperature, cloud, and wind have been positive IOD-like since late May. All climate models surveyed by the Bureau forecast positive IOD conditions to continue for the southern hemisphere spring. Typically, a positive IOD brings below average winter–spring rainfall to southern and central Australia, above average daytime temperatures for the southern two-thirds of Australia, and increased fire risk in the southeast. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral—neither El Niño nor La Niña. Atmospheric and oceanic indicators of ENSO are mostly close to average, reflecting neutral tropical Pacific cloud patterns and rainfall. Most climate models indicate the tropical Pacific is likely to remain ENSO-neutral for the rest of 2019, meaning other climate drivers are likely to remain as the primary influences on Australian and global weather.
Climate outlook overview (access full outlook here)
- The spring (September to November) climate outlook, issued 15 August 2019, indicates a drier than average season is likely for most of mainland Australia.
- Spring maximum temperatures are likely to be warmer than average, except in the southeast, which has a 50-50 chance of warmer or cooler than average days.
- Spring nights are likely to be warmer across northern and western Australia. With more cloud-free days and nights expected, there remains an increased risk of spring frost in susceptible areas.
- Climate influences include a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and an ENSO-neutral tropical Pacific Ocean.
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.