We'll have a warm summer, but will it be wet or dry?
IF YOU sweltered through September you could be forgiven for thinking summer had come early.
And it almost did.
While the Northern Rivers experienced September temperatures in the top 10% on record, it was the only region across NSW not to experience the warmest-ever September.
Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Aaron Coutts-Smith said dominant high- pressure systems produced stable dry air and kept cool changes away during September, and the trend is set to continue.
He said September 26 was the hottest day across the Northern Rivers with Casino recording 36 and Lismore reaching 32.
"Temperatures across most of the Northern Rivers were three to four degrees above average during September, except for the north-east corner around Byron Bay where it was between two and three degrees above," he said.
Lismore's Leeona Harding said she welcomed the warmer weather, which was an improvement from the rain earlier in the year.
"To escape the heat we either go down to the beach for a little while or go to the pool," she said.
Mrs Harding said she hoped for a mild summer, without extreme temperatures and destructive weather.
Mr Coutts-Smith said warmer than average weather was set to continue for the rest of the year.
"Warm ocean surface temperatures and an outlook of dominant high pressure systems are looking like producing above-average temperatures for the next three months."
As the southern oscillation index was currently neutral, Mr Coutts-Smith said there was an even chance of wet or dry conditions.
"We are just not seeing the drivers of rainfall, like the southern oscillation index, which has a strong influence on rainfall, particularly during spring and summer along coastal NSW," he said.
"The fact that the southern oscillation index is neutral and not favouring either El Nino or La Nina conditions, is leading us into these conditions that are not favouring either wet or dry."