Dual Climatic Phenomena Amplify Drought Predictions for Australia

Dual Climatic Phenomena Amplify Drought Predictions for Australia

Many parts of Australia have already seen hotter than normal spring weather. 

Exceptionally high temperatures, 10-15 degrees over the usual September norms, were reported in significant NSW and eastern Victoria zones. Sydney’s Observatory Hill logged 34.6C yesterday. 

In response to soaring temperatures coupled with predictions of hot, parched winds, the Rural Fire Service declared Total Fire Bans in both the greater Sydney region and Far South Coast and the fire threat level elevated to catastrophic.

Australia has recently witnessed above-average temperatures this winter, which seem to be persisting into the spring season. Making it the hottest since nationwide tracking started in 1910, with record-breaking temperatures in Queensland, NSW, and Tasmania.

This trend has fuelled apprehensions regarding heightened bushfire threats in the forthcoming months. The Australian National Council for Fire and Emergency Services has an AFCA Seasonal Bushfire Outlook, which can be found here.

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a 70% increase in hotter and dryer than usual average conditions in many regions for the rest of spring and summer.

This is caused by the onset of both El Nino and a positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). Current data highlights that the oceanic conditions distinctly show an El Nino presence and atmospheric patterns are aligning with tropical Pacific Sea surface temperature variations.

The Bureau commented, “The merging of these elements typifies an El Nino occurrence, serving to bolster and maintain the event over a prolonged duration.” They further forecasted that this El Nino is anticipated to continue until late February.

Now is the time to Update your Family Bushfire Plan
Bush Fire Planning Tips 

You don’t have to live in the country to be at risk of fire. If you live near areas with significant bush, forest, long grass, or coastal scrub, you need to plan for the fire season.

Not everyone thinks clearly in an emergency. Taking steps to prepare before the fire season means knowing what to do when you’re at risk of fire. A written and preferably well-practised plan will help you remember what needs to be done during a crisis. Use the Bushfire survival planning template:

  1. Sit down with your family or household and make or review your Bushfire Survival Plan. The Victorian Civil Fire Authority has a free easy to complete Bushfire Survival Plan Template 2023
  2. Know how to stay informed and know which information channels work for you.

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