Hot summer ahead, but rain on way for NSW
A long, hot summer is likely across Australia, but some much-needed rain is on the way for farmers in drought-affected areas of NSW.
Following a wet October, the Bureau of Meteorology says the outlook for December to February is warmer-than-average summer days and nights.
But BOM’s senior hydrologist Robert Pipunic says rain is set to bring some relief to drought-affected parts of NSW and Victoria in December.
"High pressure over the South Tasman Sea will drive more humid air inland than normal, resulting in a welcome wetter-than-usual December outlook for central and eastern NSW and eastern Victoria," Dr Pipunic said on Thursday.
The current drought has lasted more than a year with the nation sweating through its third-hottest year on record in 2017.
While buckets of rain fell across the nation in October, it wasn’t enough to break the drought in NSW and Queensland.
Warmer seas in the tropical Pacific Ocean have increased threefold the risk of an El Nino forming in the coming months, meaning lower rainfall across parts of the country.
"However, El Nino typically has a weaker influence in the current drought areas of southeastern Australia during summer than it does in winter and spring," BOM’s latest climate outlook said.
It also means an equal chance of either a wet or dry summer for the rest of the country.
Further warming of the Pacific Ocean is likely, BOM says, with the majority of climate models predicting sea surface temperatures remaining above El Nino thresholds until at least March.