Victoria might confront a wet close to 2021

Brace for more rain to fall in Victoria before 2021 ends


A wet outlook for Victoria is consistent with the state of major climate drivers


GUSTY north to north-westerly winds ahead of a strong cold front dragged significant warmth from the interior towards south-east Australia last Thursday.

Parts of western Victoria and south-east South Australia had maximum temperatures more than 12 °C above average on September 2.

It was the earliest date in spring on record for such warm temperatures for parts of south-eastern Australia, including Victoria.

Significant rain followed, with widespread two-day rainfall totals (9am Friday-9am Sunday) of 50-80 mm across eastern Victoria and south-east New South Wales, reaching 90-120 mm across elevated parts, with follow-up rainfall last Sunday for southern and Alpine parts of the state.

There is more rain on the forecast for part of southern Victoria this week, but only light falls expected further north and a dry week likely in the north-west.

Further ahead, the rainfall outlook for October to December favours above average rainfall for the eastern two-thirds of the country. For Victoria, there are high chances (80 per cent) of above average rainfall for the remainder of 2021 for parts of the north with chances gradually reducing towards the coastline in the south.

The wet outlook is consistent with the state of our major climate drivers.

The negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event has temporarily weakened; however, models suggest it could persist at borderline levels through spring. A negative IOD event increases the chances of above average spring rainfall for much of southern and eastern Australia.

While the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral, some cooling is expected in the central Pacific in the coming months, although a La Nina event looks unlikely at this stage. The cooling Pacific sea surface temperature pattern may be contributing to the wetter than average outlooks for parts of the country.

August soil moisture was average or above average for most of the southern Murray-Darling Basin.

Where soils are saturated, further rainfall during the spring season may lead to large inflows into water storages. The total storage in the southern Basin increased by 5.5pc to 82.8pc (17,097 GL) in August.

This is considerably higher than the same time last year when it was only 62.3pc full. Several storages in the southern Basin are at or near full accessible capacity (Lake Nillahcootie, Googong, Wyangala, Bendora, Corin, Cotter, Lauriston, Malmsbury and Upper Coliban).

All three of the very large storages in the southern Basin (Hume, Dartmouth, and Eildon) increased during August.


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