3 September 2018
The Bureau of Meteorology has released its spring outlook, with warmer and drier than average conditions expected across much of Australia.
This will lead to “intensification” of drought conditions and “an increase in bushfire potential”, the bureau warns.
As previously reported by insuranceNEWS.com.au, rapidly drying vegetation has already caused the worst winter bushfire conditions in NSW for more than a decade, with firefighters tackling dozens of unseasonal blazes.
The dry and warm spring will follow what is expected to be one of the warmest winters on record.
“Like all Australians, all of us at the Bureau of Meteorology are hoping those affected by the drought will get the rain they need soon,” Manager of Long-Range Forecasting Andrew Watkins said.
“Unfortunately, our outlooks show odds favouring a drier and warmer than average spring for many areas.”
Southern NSW, Victoria and southwest WA have the strongest chances (above 80%) of a drier than average spring.
There is also a 50% chance of an El Nino developing this year, which could intensify the problem.
“Traditionally, El Nino events result in warmer and drier than average conditions across eastern Australia,” Dr Watkins said.
“A number of international models are also predicting a positive Indian Ocean Dipole event could develop during spring, which would further exacerbate the drying trend.”