Hot Hot Oceans

We’ve got a quieter spell of weather right now…so a chance to look at what is happening offshore. We’ve got some very warm (hot?) ocean water sitting off the NSW coast. Check out the current temperatures:

And the next image shows how much higher than average the ocean temperatures are sitting:

2C above average is a significant amount of additional heat sitting just offshore…which means a much higher chance of above average temperatures and above average humidity levels when the wind is blowing from the NE / E / SE. Whilst we are likely to see the ocean temperatures drop as we move towards Autumn and Winter the BoM ocean outlook shows higher than average ocean temperatures continuing right through winter:

Warmer than average oceans not only increase temperatures and humidity levels, but can also power stronger storm systems and increased rain totals. Right now the atmosphere isn’t playing ball so we’re not seeing significant rain events moving through…but those current oceans temperatures contain a whole heap of energy that could easily translate into significant rain events given the right conditions…so definitely something to keep an eye on. Our hotter than average ocean temperatures are part of a bigger global pattern of record high ocean temperatures. The latest graph shows ocean temps once again climbing towards record levels:

We’ll likely see a drop off in record high global ocean temperatures when the (likely) La Nina develops over coming months. Despite the higher ocean temperatures the atmosphere is still in an El Nino pattern with lower than average chances of achieving average rainfall through March:

It would only take one wetter pattern to change the image above, and it’s worth noting that other models show higher than average rainfall likely through March, so confidence is lower:

Once we get into winter however the atmosphere looks like it will start to reflect the growing La Nina influences in the Pacific with wetter weather looking increasingly likely. Here’s the current outlook for June by way of example – which shows more model agreement that wetter than average weather is likely:

For now we’ve got another change coming through late week, which will bring big fire weather into Victoria once again. For us we’ll see an increased risk of showers and storms late week before it dries up once again.

For now thanks to Meteologix / NOAA / BoM / Tropical Tidbits for the images

Thanks also to our long term supporters, without whom this site / blog would not be possible:

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