The latest climate and water outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology is for wetter than normal conditions across much of the country with an increased chance of widespread flooding in the eastern parts of Australia from December to February.
Spring rainfall has been near average but warmer than average spring days and a dry and warm November means soil moisture is drier than average in parts of eastern Australia. With a wetter spring, water storages in southern Australia are still increasing and are higher than the same time last year. However, in Tasmania water storages are below the comparable period.
La Niña is well-established in the Pacific Ocean with cooler than normal water temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific, a pattern that’s likely to consider through summer and early autumn. La Niña increases the likelihood of above normal rainfall across eastern Australia, while warmer waters to the north of Australia is also likely to increase rainfall over summer. Strong winds over Antarctica are likely to draw weather systems south, also increasing rainfall across eastern Australia. As a result, the outlook is for high or near median streamflows in most locations in the south eastern parts of the country. Summer days are likely to be warmer than average for parts of south east Australia and due to abundant grass growth during spring, there is an increased grass fire risk in parts of NSW.