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Frosts and warm winter predicted

COLD: Snow fell at Mt William in the Grampians last week. Picture: ROCHELLE SULLIVAN

COLD: Snow fell at Mt William in the Grampians last week. Picture: ROCHELLE SULLIVAN

Weather forecasters are predicting frosty, dry and warmer-than-average conditions for Victorian areas north of the Great Dividing Range this winter.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued the long-range details for the region, which mirror much of Australia.
Despite a wet finish to May, the bureau’s winter climate outlook shows eastern and central Australia are unlikely to receive above-average rain.
Bureau long-range forecasting manager Dr Andrew Watson said south-eastern Australia was likely to have a dry start to the season.
“Models show June rain is likely to be below average in New South Wales, Victoria, eastern South Australia and the southern parts of both Queensland the Northern Territory,” he said.
“Drier-than-average conditions typically mean cloud-free nights, which increases the risk of frost in susceptible areas.”
Dr Watson said much of Victoria had experienced a ‘very’ warm autumn.
“In fact much of the state has had well-above-average temperatures across the last three months. The highest temperature was over 41 degrees at Hopetoun on the first of March – quite a significant temperature for autumn,” he said.
“In terms of rainfall, it’s been generally dry across the western part of the state and also through into western Gippsland. Those areas had been dry for quite some time.
“Unfortunately, there will be a continuing warm and dry pattern in those areas.
“We are expecting more high-pressure systems over the state and we need to be careful because that will bring an increased risk of frost at times, particularly for inland areas with dryer soils.
“In terms of rain, we’re looking at dryer conditions, particularly north of the divide over the winter.”
Dr Watson said the outlook was based on what was happening in the Pacific Ocean and an El Nino weather pattern, which was ‘looking likely to fade away in the coming months’.
“We are also looking at what’s happening out in the Indian Ocean where we expect a positive Indian Ocean Dipole to form,” he said.
“And that typically brings dryer and warmer conditions through winter and often into spring as well for south-eastern Australia.”

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Posted on Jun 5 2019

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