Outlooks point to warm lead-up to Australia Day

Hotter weather predicted for coming weeks

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Snow and rain in parts of the state have pushed average January temperatures lower to date, but conditions are likely to change going into next week. PHOTO: Karleen Minney

Snow and rain in parts of the state have pushed average January temperatures lower to date, but conditions are likely to change going into next week. PHOTO: Karleen Minney

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January has been cooler than average to date, but change is on the way for Australia Day.

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It has been a generally cool start to 2021 in Victoria.

Daytime temperatures for the first half of this month were about 1°C below the 1961-1990 climatological average across the southern half of the state, making it the coolest start to the year since 2011.

Mid-January snow has also been reported in the Victorian Alps, with up to 5 centimetres falling at the alpine resorts.

Moist tropical air brought widespread rainfalls of 25 to 50 millimetres to much of western Victoria on January 2, which was about the average for the whole month.

In the 24 hours to 9am on January 4, Mount Sabine in the Otways recorded 194.4mm in the gauge.

This was the highest daily total recorded in Victoria since June 2012.

But the forecast for the week ahead sees a return to hot weather.

Temperatures are predicted to reach levels in the low-to-mid-40°Cs on Sunday January 24, as a high pressure system strengthens south of the Great Australian Bight.

It is advised to check the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) website for the latest forecasts and any active warnings in your area.

Looking further afield, daytime temperatures for south eastern areas of Australia are highly likely to be above average for the remainder of January - and into February - as high pressure systems draw hot air from the interior.

The BoM Climate Outlook Overview for February to April indicates above average temperatures are likely for most of Victoria - and highly likely for Tasmania and many coastal areas of Western Australia and Queensland.

While a monsoon is currently active over the top end of the nation, weather patterns are unfavourable for wet weather to reach the south east.

The multi-week Outlooks show a low chance of above average rainfall for Victoria for the remainder of January.

For the February to April Outlook period, Queensland is highly likely to see above average rainfall.

But for most of Victoria, there is only about a 60 per cent chance of above average rainfall for the three-month period.

The latest survey of BoM and international models indicates that the La Nina in the tropical Pacific Ocean has likely reached its peak strength for the 2020-21 event.

But the impacts associated with La Nina are expected to continue across eastern and northern Australia into early autumn.

Model Outlooks indicate a return to neutral conditions - neither an El Nino or a La Nina - during late summer and early autumn.

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