SYDNEY, April 27 (Reuters) – Australia is set for a drier and warmer start to winter, with even odds for the El Nino weather pattern, the weather bureau said on Thursday, a reprieve after three years of wet and wild weather.
Australia endured a record third La Nina event last year, associated with wet weather, causing bumper crop production but also major floods and historic rainfall along the populous east coast.
Rainfall over May to July is likely to be below the historic median for most of Australia, The Bureau of Meteorology said in a climate outlook that also tipped warmer weather over the period.
The Tropical Pacific continues to warm and there is a 50% chance of El Nino later this year, the bureau said in a separate report on Wednesday. El Nino is associated with drier weather.
The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral but may turn positive “in the coming months,” that forecast said. A positive IOD is associated with lower winter and spring rainfall across most of Australia.
Long-range IOD forecasts made in Autumn have lower accuracy than those made at other times, the report cautioned.