Seasonal climate outlook Jan-Mar 2019

Bureau of Meteorology, 20/12/2018


Jan-Mar 2019 rainfall outlook:

Drier than average start to the year likely for WA and parts of the east

January to March is likely to be drier than average for WA, parts of the northern NT and eastern mainland Australia. For the remainder of the country, there are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier three months, i.e., no strong tendency towards a significantly wetter or drier than average season ahead.

Historical outlook accuracy for January to March is moderate across western and southern mainland Australia, as well as the northern NT and northern Queensland. Elsewhere, accuracy is low to very low.

Chance of exceeding 100mm during Jan-Mar:

January 2019 rainfall outlook:

February 2019 rainfall outlook:

Warmer than average start to 2019 likely for Australia

January to March days are very likely to be warmer than average, with probabilities exceeding 80% for most of the country. Over parts of the southern mainland and south of the Gulf of Carpentaria, the chances of exceeding median daytime temperatures is closer to 70%. Chances reduce to around 50% along WA’s coast from Albany to Exmouth.

January to March nights are also very likely to be warmer than average across most of Australia, with chances of warmer than average nights exceeding 80% over northern and eastern Australia. Far western WA is more likely to have cooler than average summer nights.

Historical accuracy for January to March maximum temperatures is moderate to high across most of Australia, but low surrounding the Great Australian Bight, and to the south of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Minimum temperature accuracy is moderate to high for most of Australia, except the central NT and central to western parts of Queensland, where accuracy is low to very low.

Minimum temperature outlook:


Maximum temperature outlook:


Source: Bureau of Meteorology


Comparison – previous forecast versus actual rainfall

Maps below compare BOM’s rainfall forecast for March 2018 to May 2018, issued in late February 2018, with actual rainfall deciles recorded over the March-May 2018 period.





Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Scroll between images below:


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. Rebecca Mohr-Bell, 23/01/2019

    You should be careful about the maps you use, particularly the one which mentions the change of exceeding 100mm in Jan-Mar. This appeared as the ‘headline’ map in the facebook post but without looking carefully (the caption is very small) I think many people would have interpreted it as the ‘change of exceeding median’ which is the map we’re used to seeing. If northern Australia didn’t exceed 100mm in Jan-Mar this would be catastrophic but (I hope) extremely unlikely.

    Hi Rebecca, unfortunately as you pointed out the map that appeared in a facebook post when this article was shared to Facebook by a third party was the ‘chances of exceeding 100mm’ map, not the newly released ‘chances of exceeding median’ that was the focus of the article. We’re not sure why the incorrect image appeared when it was shared in a Facebook post but appreciate that the appearance of that image could have caused some confusion, for which we apologise. We’re looking into it to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Editor.

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -