Hello there, and welcome to the Bureau’s outlook for January to March 2019. Our ENSO Outlook remains at El Niño ALERT, as the tropical Pacific Ocean has warmed to El Niño levels but the atmosphere has yet to respond. Models suggest Pacific Ocean temperatures will remain warmer than average through the coming months, raising the chances of El Niño in 2019. In contrast, the eastern Indian Ocean is expected to remain cooler than average—limiting the flow of moisture into Western Australia. As a result, Western Australia and parts of the Northern Territory and eastern mainland are likely to be drier than average for the start of 2019. But even with good recent rainfall, lower than average streamflows are more likely at nearly 75 per cent of locations. Near-median and high flows are expected in northeastern Tasmania and along the northeastern Queensland coast. The temperature outlooks suggest warmer-than-average days and nights are very likely for all of Australia during the first three months of
2019. However, parts of the Western Australian coastline are more likely to have cooler than average nights. With such warm conditions and clear skies forecast, heatwaves will remain a risk. Even a brief spell of dry and hot weather can raise fire danger levels quickly. For those in the north, remember that tropical cyclone numbers peak in February and March. So keep an eye on the Bureau’s forecasts and warnings. Thanks for joining us. Our next outlook will be released on 17 January.