Welcome rain expected for some regions

Welcome rain expected for some regions of Victoria

Weather
This week's rain could mark an autumn break in some areas, but others are likely to have missed out.

This week's rain could mark an autumn break in some areas, but others are likely to have missed out.

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This week's rain could mark an autumn break in some areas, but others are likely to have missed out.

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This week's rain could mark an autumn break in some areas, but others are likely to have missed out. And of course, follow up rain is always an important part of any break.

The Bureau of Meteorology's rainfall outlook for May, issued on April 26, indicates multiple big rain events are unlikely in Victoria this month.

Although areas in the east and southwest of the state received average to above average rain in March, many other locations have experienced either their driest start to the year on record, or their driest start since 1923.

This is set against a background of the last two years, which has seen well below average rainfall over much of south-eastern Australia, especially NSW.

December 2018 was the only month with widespread above average rainfall over Victoria since December 2017.

As a result, a single rain event is unlikely to end the drought. Only several months of sustained wetter than average conditions will ease the effects of this sustained and lengthy dry period, and lead to the filling of dams and streams.

While May looks dry overall, the longer three-month May to July rainfall outlook is mostly neutral; most of the state has no strong tendency towards significantly drier or significantly wetter than normal conditions.

The El Nio-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral, but most climate models suggest a short-lived El Nio could form in the coming months. If El Nio does develop, it would increase the chances of a drier winter.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is forecast to remain neutral from May to July so it has little influence on this outlook, but some models hint at a positive IOD in late winter. That's one we should all watch closely.

After Victoria's hottest summer on record, and a warm March, temperatures look set to remain higher than usual for the rest of autumn.

Warmer than normal days are very likely (greater than 80 per cent chance) for most of Victoria for the coming three months. While nights are also likely to be warmer than average for May-July, the forecast suggests higher pressures which could bring more cloud-free nights, increasing the risk of frost in susceptible areas - especially those areas that remain dry.

August 2017 was the last time Victoria recorded a cooler than usual monthly maximum temperature.

For the complete climate outlook visit www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks

- Catherine Ganter, Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist

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