What you will find on this page: Special Climate Statement 64 – record warmth in Tasman Sea; Special Climate Statement 62 – record heat in September; Special Climate Statement 61 – exceptional heat; Annual Climate Statement 2016 (video); State of the Climate Report 2016 (video); record September rains; 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
27 March 2018 – Sea surface temperatures in the southern Tasman Sea rose to exceptionally high levels in late 2017 and early 2018. These temperatures were far above any others previously observed at that time of year in the region, and extended west from New Zealand to Tasmania and mainland southeast Australia. In parallel with this, land temperatures were well above average in areas near the Tasman Sea warm anomalies, with many records set both in New Zealand and in southeast Australia (especially Tasmania).Access full report here
5 October 2017 – On 22 September 2017, Australia as a whole had its warmest September day since national area-averaged temperature records began in 1911. In the following week, New South Wales and Queensland had their warmest September days on record, and South Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory each had days in their top-10 warmest for September. More than 20% of Australia by area recorded its hottest September day on record during 22–29 September. Access full report here
22 February 2017 – Summer 2016–17 saw prolonged and, at times, extreme heat over New South Wales, southern Queensland, South Australia and parts of northern Victoria. January 2017 saw the highest monthly mean temperatures on record for Sydney and Brisbane, and the highest daytime temperatures on record for Canberra. In January and February, there were three distinct heatwaves in southeast Australia, with the highest temperatures recorded over 9–12 February 2017. The periods between the waves of extreme heat also saw above average temperatures over large areas of east and southeast Australia. It was the consistency of high temperatures more than the extreme temperatures themselves that made early 2017 an exceptional event. Access full report here
The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO play an important role in monitoring, analysing and communicating observed changes in Australia’s climate. This fourth, biennial State of the Climate report draws on the latest monitoring, science and projection information to describe variability and changes in Australia’s climate, and how it is likely to change in the future. Observations and climate modelling paint a consistent picture of ongoing, long-term climate change interacting with underlying natural variability. Read more and to access full report here & access commentary here
12 October 2016: September was an exceptionally wet month over most of the eastern two-thirds of mainland Australia, as a succession of rain-bearing systems affected various parts of the continent. Monthly rainfall was at least double the long-term average over almost all of inland New South Wales and Queensland, most of the Northern Territory and outback South Australia, and parts of northern and western Victoria and eastern South Australia. Averaged over Australia as a whole, it was the second-wettest September on record, just behind September 2010. It was the wettest September on record for New South Wales and the Northern Territory, as well as for the Murray−Darling Basin, while it ranks second-wettest for Victoria, third-wettest for Queensland and fourth-wettest for South Australia. Access full report here
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
Latest BOM: Issued on Next issue
El Niño ALERT continues as positive Indian Ocean Dipole weakens
The tropical Pacific Ocean remains ENSO-neutral, despite some indicators reaching El Niño levels. As a result, the Bureau’s ENSO Outlook remains at El Niño ALERT. The positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event in the tropical Indian Ocean weakened in the past fortnight. Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean have now exceeded El Niño thresholds for more than a month. However atmospheric indicators—such as trade winds, cloud patterns, and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI)—have not reached El Niño levels. This indicates that the tropical ocean and atmosphere are not reinforcing each other and remain ‘uncoupled’. This coupling is required to establish and sustain any ENSO event, and is what drives widespread Australian and global impacts. Recently, trade winds in the western Pacific have weakened in association with the Madden–Julian Oscillation. Some models suggest they may remain weakened for at least the next fortnight. International climate models predict sea surface temperatures to remain at or above El Niño levels in December and January. By February, all but one of the eight surveyed models remain above El Niño thresholds. El Niño effects in Australia over summer typically include higher fire risk, greater chance of heatwaves, and fewer tropical cyclones. The positive IOD event which began in early September has weakened, with the most recent value just below positive thresholds. It is likely that the positive IOD is nearing its end—consistent with model outlooks and the IOD’s natural cycle. The IOD typically has little influence on Australian climate from December to April. Source: ENSO Wrap-up
Climate outlook overview (access full outlook here)
November rainfall was above average across most of the Northern Territory, South Australia, the southern half of Western Australia (away from the west coast and southwest), western Queensland, northeastern Tasmania, and large areas of New South Wales. This has eased short- to medium-term rainfall deficiencies across large areas, but at the longer 20-month timescale deficiencies remain largely unchanged.
Meteorological drought is rarely broken in a single event or month; typically, regular rainfall over a period of several months is required to remove the large rainfall deficiencies currently in place.
Rainfall for November was below average across eastern Queensland, extending into northeastern New South Wales, and other smaller areas in northern and west coast Western Australia. Correspondingly, rainfall deficiencies have increased in northern Queensland.
The year to date has been exceptionally dry for New South Wales, Victoria, eastern South Australia, and the southern half of Queensland. Significant rainfall deficiencies continue to affect large areas of eastern Australia at timescales out to around two years’ duration. This has been the seventh-lowest January to November rainfall since 1900 for the Murray-Darling Basin, eighth-lowest for New South Wales, and ninth-lowest for Victoria.
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.