Australia braces for hot, dry spring

According to the predictions of the Bureau of Meteorology, this spring will bring abnormally high temperatures across almost the whole continent of Australia, along with significantly less rainfall than typical.

Even though an El Nio has not been formally announced, the bureau’s forecast for the spring indicates that the environment will still be drier and hotter than usual. This is in spite of the fact that an El Nio has not been declared.

According to Lynette Bettio, a senior climatologist of the bureau, “After what appears to be our warmest winter on record, spring is also likely to bring warmer days and reduced rainfall.”

This spring, there is a good likelihood that daytime temperatures will be higher than average across the majority of the United States. There is a greater possibility of days with temperatures that are abnormally high in practically all places, however this is most likely to occur in Western Australia and portions of the south east.

Bettio stated that winter rainfall was approximately 8% lower than typical, and warmer temperatures were noted everywhere with the exception of the south-east of Western Australia. The average temperature across the country was around 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than the national mean.

According to Bettio, who stated that the spring season of 2022 was “the second wettest on record,” this year’s spring will be quite different from the one that just passed.

“The first rains of northern Australia’s wet season are likely to be lighter than normal, especially for the Northern Territory and Queensland,” she said. “This will be especially true for the Northern Territory.”

The Australasian Fire Authorities Council issued a call to action to communities one week ago, urging them to get ready for what is expected to be the most serious bushfire season since the black summer fires of 2019-2020.

As a result of projections calling for temperatures that are expected to be above average, less rainfall, increasing fuel loads, and shifting weather patterns, large swaths of Australia are anticipated to face what is known as a “increased risk” of bushfires.

When compared to the norm, there is a possibility that a significantly higher number of wildfires will break out, necessitating proactive management and firefighting efforts. Several regions in the Australian states of Queensland, New South Wales, along with Victoria, South Australia, & Northern Territory are considered to be at a higher risk.

According to Bettio, the water storage facilities in Australia were close to 80% full, with many of them being close to 90% full. She did say that some were now falling below 50%, and it seemed anticipated that they will fall even more.

In spite of the fact that the World Meteorological Organization as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States have already confirmed the presence of an El Nio, the bureau has maintained its high state of preparedness.

The weakening of the trade winds that sweep from east to west across the ocean is a defining characteristic of El Nio, which occurs when ocean temperatures increase beyond normal in the equatorial Pacific. This climate pattern has the potential to drive droughts and heat in Australia, in addition to contributing to an rise in average global temperatures.

Bettio stated that the El Nio watch would continue in effect because it is highly possible that an El Nio will form this year. It is anticipated that sea surface temperatures will continue to rise above those associated with El Nio.

When land and ocean temperatures were taken into account, the month of July was the warmest month on record worldwide. It is common knowledge that a warmer climate makes extreme weather, such as heat waves, more likely to occur.

 

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