A closer look now at March as we move closer to the beginning of Autumn with the climate driver supporting the persistence of wet and cooler than normal conditions for large parts of the north and east of the nation, and mixed odds for elsewhere across the nation.
Rainfall Outlook March 2022
The wet end to February over northern and eastern portions of Australia will continue to increase as we kick off March with heavy rainfall from the monsoonal flow over the north and the positive SAM phase in the east drifting further south and west through the nation, with increasing rainfall signals for the beginning of the month for NSW, VIC and parts of SA. The far west will be near seasonal, however the rainfall odds are dictated by any landfalling cyclone activity throughout the interior with heavy inland rainfall to stem from any of those events. The east coast looks especially damp, with persistent onshore winds, widespread showers and thunderstorms. This moisture is likely to travel west of the divide and then link up with inland troughs leading to more rainfall and humid weather through the first half of the month in particular. The southern and eastern states need to be on alert for any weakening cyclone/tropical low activity stemming from the north. Overall, a damp signal is persisting and this will likely continue, specifics will become clearer as we get towards the end of this month. But once again, be aware of the wetter signal as we enter March 2022.
Temperature Outlook March 2022
Mixed signals from the modelling nationally, the cooler than normal bias will be in place for the eastern parts of the nation with persistent easterly winds and higher than average rainfall with the La Nina continuing to take hold. For the north, the MJO should be working it's way through northern Australia and landing up in the western Pacific, so some chance of cooler than normal weather for chunks of the north and northeast. The weather for the southwest and south of the nation, near seasonal under long fetch easterly winds and ridging being further south, the winds dry out and warm up running over land, so a higher chance of above average temperatures over the west and south of the nation for now, but as mentioned above, tropical systems may change that very quickly, with inland rainfall and thick cloud cover leading to below average temperatures.
A refresher on AUTUMN 2022
Autumn Rainfall Outlook
% chance of exceeding median rainfall for Autumn 2022
As mentioned through the video, the overall confidence is growing for a wetter than average season across much of the nation, with that said, the higher chances exist over the northwest and the east coast where climate drivers currently in play, coupled with elevated SSTs will support more rainfall than usual during this time. The rest of the nation is leaning towards wetter than normal values, but the overall strength of those values has waned a little. Still, seasonal rainfall should be received for most during this time, but perhaps we can pencil in a few more drier spells than what we have seen recently, with some luck. That may ultimately reduce the flood risk. The lingering La Nina over in the Pacific may lead to a prolonged wet season for northern Australia. The east coast will see enhanced rainfall for the period with easterly winds feeding off above average SSTs to bring higher rainfall for longer duration. Wild cards to bring significant rainfall will be late season cyclone activity over northern Australia and the east coast low season off the southern QLD and NSW/VIC coastal areas between April and June.
Autumn Temperature Outlook
% chance of exceeding median temperatures for Autumn 2022
The cooler than average conditions over eastern Australia likely to continue, though I have contracted the cooler bias to on and east of the divide since the last update. Seasonal weather overall is expected for much of the nation with some areas leaning warmer than normal. The north of the nation with elevated humidity values with the build down over the course of April and into May. This will assist in keeping temperatures up. Otherwise, most elsewhere, seasonal conditions can be expected.
This is the take away from the data sets - more analysis can be found in the video. It is going to be a dynamic season - I think make the most of the quieter period in the coming few weeks in southern and eastern areas.
More details coming up on Tuesday with a refresh on the latest data looking into the coming 6 weeks and early stages of April.