Temperatures in parts of Victoria and NSW hit record levels this month and modelling suggests the above-average warmth will extend into next month, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
“The April outlook suggests warmer-than-average days and nights over northern Australia and parts of the southern coastline,” Senior Climatologist Catherine Ganter told insuranceNEWS.com.au.
“Autumn, March to May, is looking at warmer daytime temperatures across most of the country, except the southern interior, while night-time temperatures are likely to be warmer than average nationwide.
“Autumn rainfall is likely to be wetter in patchy parts of the southeast, and drier across northern Australia.”
The heatwave that affected the southeast from March 2 – when a high-pressure system took hold in the Tasman Sea – pushed the national area-averaged maximum temperature to a record 38.14 degrees on March 2.
Several locations in Victoria and NSW had record runs of consecutive days with temperatures above 35 degrees this month.
“March isn’t over yet, so nothing definitive can be said,” Ms Ganter said.
“There have been numerous records broken in the first half of March, but it remains to be seen whether monthly records will be set.”
According to the Bureau, El Nino is continuing its “slow and steady decline”, but will continue to influence climate during the southern hemisphere autumn.
“In Australia, the breakdown of strong El Nino events has historically brought average to above average rainfall to many locations,” it said.
“However, northern Australia typically sees less rainfall than usual.”