A cold start to winter and more rain on the radar for July-September

Late winter months looking more likely to be wet in many parts

It has been a case of cold mornings in many parts of Victoria, but good news for farmers as rains have filled many paddock soil profiles.

It has been a case of cold mornings in many parts of Victoria, but good news for farmers as rains have filled many paddock soil profiles.


Key indicators point to a neutral rainfall outlook for June, but signs are more promising for July.


The temperature plunge last week was a chilling reminder that winter has arrived.

Much of northern and western Victoria had sub-zero minimum temperatures on Friday and Saturday and - where the conditions were right - frost.

We are heading into winter in better shape compared to the past two years.

Rainfall in the first five months of 2020 has been in the wettest 10 per cent of records for parts of southern and central Victoria, and above average in most other parts.

The exception is East Gippsland, where year-to-date rainfall totals are mostly close to average.

It has also been wet in central and eastern New South Wales and northern and western Tasmania.

The above average rainfall has led to a soil moisture recovery for much of south-eastern Australia.

The wetter soils mean winter rainfall has a greater chance to run-off into rivers and streams than soak into dry ground.

This means stream flows at sites in Victoria's east and north east are likely be higher than usual in the coming months.

The rainfall outlook for the remainder of June is near neutral for most of Victoria. That means roughly equal chances of above or below average rainfall.

But July to September is likely to be wetter over much of southern Australia, including northern and eastern Victoria.

The temperature outlook for July to September shows days are likely to be warmer than average in most parts, except the state's north west, and warmer than average nights are favoured across the whole country.

The wet weather so far in 2020 has been helped by a warmer than average eastern Indian Ocean providing extra moisture to weather systems as they sweep across the country.

However, the eastern tropical Indian Ocean has cooled in recent weeks. Some models are now easing away from earlier predictions of a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) developing during winter.

There are some indicators of a La Nina-like pattern developing in the Pacific, although latest outlooks suggest the pattern is likely to remain weak - with thresholds only just being met in mid to late spring.

Both La Nina and negative IOD events increase the likelihood of above average rainfall for parts of Victoria.

But in the shorter term, the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is positive and likely to remain so for the next fortnight. It is counteracting some of the wet influence from the Indian Ocean, resulting in a neutral rainfall outlook for Victoria for the rest of June.


From the front page

Sponsored by