Weather in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane: Warning issued
A overwhelmingly dry and cloud-free rain radar for August could signal months of dry weather as Australia heads into its hottest summer after three consecutive La Niña years.
This comes as bushfire warnings were issued this week of a high probability of bushfires, with signs a positive dipole is set to form in the Indian Ocean – another weather event fueling a hot and dry summer.
A Sky News Weather weather map showing rain forecast for the next eight days gave a largely bone dry forecast, with small zones of far north Queensland, the south coast of New South Wales and the stretch of coast above New South Wales forecasting just 50mm of rainfall and the Queensland border.
Little rain was forecast across Sydney for the next eight days. Image: Sky News
Sharing his forecast for the weekend, Sky News meteorologist Rob Sharpe said showers were only forecast for Tasmania, with a low chance of the condensation clouds sweeping across south-east South Australia and south Victoria.
“Only the southeast will be cool this weekend,” he said.
Overall, “significantly drier than usual weather” was forecast for the remainder of August, September and the remainder of 2023 for most of the country.
Forecasts also indicated that most parts of Australia had a high probability of experiencing high temperatures above normal averages over the next three months.
There was a high possibility that spring temperatures would reach higher-than-average highs. Image: Sky News
“As we have this positive Indian dipole weather event in our west, and currently developing, it is already impacting our weather patterns and leading to the dominance of these high-pressure systems,” said Mr. Sharpe.
“So we will continue to see the weather becoming drier than usual, and even worse, the weather starting to get hotter than usual.”
A overwhelmingly dry August could portend a month of lower rainfall and higher temperatures as Australia faces its worst bushfire season since the Black Summer fires of 2019/20.
Earlier this week, the Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) released its spring 2023 seasonal bushfire outlook, pointing to an increased risk of severe bushfires across large areas of central and northern New South Wales.
In Queensland, areas around the inland portion of the Capricornia, Wide Bay-Burnett and Southeast Coast forecast areas and much of the Southern Downsand Granite Belt have also been identified as high fire risk areas.
Precipitation deciles in 2019 (left) and 2022 (right), showing the contrast between positive and negative IOD years. Photo: WeatherZone
A positive dipole in the Indian Ocean also signals a warmer and drier spring and summer.
Contrasting temperatures between the western tropical Indian Ocean near the Horn of Africa and the eastern Indian Ocean near Indonesia reached the highest level since 2019 – the last time a positive IOP was measured.
Although it’s not long before a positive Indian Ocean dipole is officially detected, the Bureau of Meteorology expects the weather event to be announced in September.
Although the federal agency has not yet officially declared El Niño, a weather report released Aug. 15 said it remains likely.
The bureau’s long-term forecast points to a spring with below-average rainfall and above-average high temperatures.
Australia is facing its worst bushfire season since the 2019-20 Black Summer fires.