Mild days and clear skies meant pleasant weather for much of Victoria this autumn.
Daytime temperatures were higher than usual for this time of year - more than 1 degree warmer than average for most of the state. Nights too were warmer than average, especially in the centre and east.
Parts of the northeast received more autumn rainfall than they normally would, but elsewhere totals were average to below average.
Most of the state received an autumn break, the exception was the northwest where rainfall was in the bottom 10 per cent of autumn records in parts. Moisture levels for the top 1m of soil are now near the long-term average for most of the state, though they remain drier than average across southern and western Gippsland.
Overall, Victorian water storages are about 42 per cent full, and appear to have levelled out, and will start to rise soon, albeit from a level about 18 per cent lower than this time last year.
Autumn's warm trend looks set to carry on into winter. The updated outlook for June to August, released Tuesday, is dry and warm for Victoria. Most of the state only has a 30-35 per cent chance of above average rainfall. With low rainfall, and dry soils in some parts, below average streamflows are forecast to continue at most locations, with only a few sites expecting near average flows.
Recently, international climate models have weakened their forecasts for El Nio in 2019. But they've become firmer on a positive Indian Ocean Dipole in the coming months. A positive Indian Ocean Dipole typically means lower winter-spring rainfall and higher maximum temperatures for Victoria.
It's very likely winter 2019 will be warmer than average. There is a greater than 80 per cent chance for warmer days across most of Victoria, and for warmer nights in the south and east.
Air pressure over much of southern and eastern Australia is likely to be higher than normal, with this signal strongest in June. This increases the chance of drier and warmer than average weather over much of southern and eastern Australia and may keep cold fronts further to the south than normal. But it also means nights will be clearer, and when combined with average to dry soils in some parts, this can increase the risk of frost.
See the latest winter outlook at www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks/
The Bureau will publish the official autumn summary on June 3, at www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/season/vic/summary.shtml
- Jonathan Pollock, BOM climatologist