Weather trends towards Christmas 2017

The 2017-2018 cyclone season could see up to 11 cyclones form in Australian waters bordering the Pacific Ocean, Coral Sea, Timor Sea, Arafura Sea and the Indian Ocean.

On the east coast its predicted that at least 3 will form.

With over all weather a hotter, wetter season with more storms.

The climate outlook for the next three months suggests conditions of about 50-50 probability of wetter or drier, and hotter or colder, than average.

Record heat in early spring did not necessarily guarantee a record hot summer.

There’s been plenty of years when Australia had springtime heat and then got an early monsoon and a decent wet season

Australia is emerging from its hottest winter on record going as far back as 1910 and Queensland is expected to face more hot days over Christmas and into the new year with average temperatures above a few degrees.

South-east Queensland are to expect more severe thunderstorms which can include hail larger than a $2 coin, winds beyond 90kmh, flash flooding or tornadoes, more rain and up to 28 days with severe thunderstorms, where the average is 20.

What is concerning forecasters is why it's dry at all. Usually a prolonged spell without rain as experienced over winter would be due to the presence of an El Nino or a positive Indian Ocean Diploe - two of the strongest drivers of Australia's climate.

Brisbane and Moreton Bay Regions has seen 11.2mm of rain with more than half of that falling just last week when one thunderstorm barrelled through the city. More than 100mm of rainfall would have been expected.

But both are taking some time out on the bench. Currently there is neither El Nino or La Nina pattern.

One of the drivers of the big dry is  higher pressure which has squatted above a huge expanse of Central and Northern Australia for months, doing its best to ensure we get blue skies and little rain

El Nino's opposite phase, the La Nina, may also make an appearance. Even if it's a weak La Nina, it may still be enough to help bring the rainfall back closer to average levels.

 

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