As red tones cannot get much darker when you approach black, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology had to resort to introducing new colours on their weather forecast maps for next week, when inland temperatures in South Australia can locally reach a staggering 54 degrees Celsius.
Above image shows Australian temperature forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology. The Australian weather agency states the current heat wave is unprecedented – and on Monday the country’s summer heat record was broken, with an average maximum temperature of 40.33 degrees Celsius.
In our Australian summer forecast of November 16 here at Bitsofscience.org we already stated our expectation that Southeast Australia would have its driest summer in years, including high wildfire risk – based on witnessed sea surface temperature anomaly charts. Although the Pacific ENSO has largely evened out – the Coral Sea and the Tasman Sea clearly still harbour a strong El Niño remnant, which promotes drought by keeping depressions at distance.
As drought prolongues – so does wildfire risk, as especially Tasmania and New South Wales now show – and temperatures easily spike. In many parts of the country the current heat wave is unprecedented.
Precipitation forecast for days ahead: drought remains
Unaffected by the El Niño sea surface anomalies, depression activity is higher along the Australian west coast.
As NOAA’s GFS model shows one of these is currently moving south and early on Sunday morning a weak weather front will make a sweeping move along Australia’s southern coastline – all the way up to New Zealand, locally bringing some rainfall.
Inland areas in South Australia and New South Wales will not benefit much and also Tasmania is unlikely to receive drought-relieving amounts of rain. Early next week dry weather seems to return throughout the region.
© Rolf Schuttenhelm | www.bitsofscience.org