Dry conditions are spreading across eastern Australia, with warm and dry weather predicted for the rest of the year, the Bureau of Meteorology warns.
Near-drought conditions are spreading further across eastern Australia as summer approaches.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s latest drought statement says the big dry gripping northern NSW and Queensland is extending south, with parts of Victoria recording their driest ever September and widening long-term rainfall deficiencies in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
“Particularly, southern NSW, Victoria and NSW are beginning to see a sequence of very dry months and as a result we are starting to see the emergence of some rainfall deficiencies,” BoM climate monitoring and prediction manager David Jones told AAP.
“About half of Victoria, for example, is currently experiencing serious or severe rainfall deficiencies or just outside of that category, so we are starting to see a large spatial extent of these deficiencies further south.”
Dr Jones said all of southern Australia had below average rainfall in September, save for some isolated good falls in the WA Goldfields region and regions north of Perth.
The Queensland coast north of Rockhampton had an improvement but much of the state’s southeast and interior is suffering the effects of prolonged dry conditions.
Dr Jones said relief from the ongoing dry conditions is unlikely.
“At this stage, it doesn’t look like it. We’ve had increasing dry over most areas as the year has gone on, and the seasonal outlook suggests below average rainfall is pretty likely to continue in the next three months,” he said.
“While we always live in hope that we get some relief from the dry pattern, the odds are definitely stacked against that.”
Dry conditions and above average temperatures are expected to continue.
“It has been yet another very warm year across Australia, and the warmth adds to the dry,” Dr Jones said.
The above average temperatures are likely to continue at least until the end of the year, he said.