When we'll see the best odds for rainfall, according to BOM
NO SURPRISE here, but the next three months are going to be hot and dry according to the weather bureau's latest predictions.
The Bureau of Meteorology 2019/20 has released the Summer Outlook which showed large parts of the country are likely to see a continuation of the warmer and drier than average conditions experienced throughout spring.
And it looks like the Northern Rivers will be very lucky to scrape through with median rainfall totals.
The climate outlook shows a high likelihood of warmer than average days and nights for most of the country, while rainfall is likely to be below average for large parts of the nation's east.
BOM head of long-range forecasts Dr Andrew Watkins said Australia's outlook was being influenced by one of Australia's main climate drivers.
"The key culprit for our current and expected conditions is one of the strongest positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events on record," Dr Watkins said.
"A positive IOD means we have cooler than average water pooling off Indonesia, and this means we see less rain-bearing weather systems, and warmer than average temperatures for large parts of the country.
"The positive IOD means we're also expecting a delayed onset for the northern monsoon, one of the key drivers for tropical rainfall during the summer months.
"At this stage we're expecting the onset of the northern monsoon by mid-summer, which should see the odds for closer to average rainfall increasing from January and into February."
Dr Watkins said the outlook was an important reminder for communities to be alert to the potential severe weather risks over the coming months.
"We've already seen significant bushfire activity during spring, and the outlook for drier and warmer than average conditions will maintain that heightened risk over the coming months.
"This outlook also means the risk of heatwaves is increased, so it's important the community stays up to date with the latest information and advice from authorities and the Bureau's heatwave forecasts and warnings.
"Even with a drier than average outlook, localised flooding remains a risk under particular meteorological conditions such as thunderstorms, and of course communities in the north need to be prepared at this time of year for tropical cyclones."
Median rainfall December to February
Ballina - 460mm, with a 39 per cent chance of exceeding 400mm
Byron - More than 500mm, with a 33 per cent chance of exceeding this
Lismore - 464mm, with a 38 per cent chance of exceeding 400mm