BOM's seasonal outlook for exceeding median maxmum temperatures in Wide Bay.
BOM's seasonal outlook for exceeding median maxmum temperatures in Wide Bay.

Why we're still sweating a week out from winter

IT'S just one week out from winter and the Wide Bay is still sweating through the middle of the day.

The region, much like most of Australia, is facing a very high chance of a warm winter with low rainfall.

It follows on from last year's warm winter and the hot, dry summer.

"It was a particularly dry summer with some very warm daytime temperatures," Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Felicity Gamble said.

BOM's latest seasonal outlook forecasts a very high chance of the same conditions for winter.

There is a more than 80% chance of exceeding median maximum temperatures across Bundaberg, Fraser Coast and Gympie.

The median maximum temperatures for Wide Bay. This winter, there is a very high chance of exceeding the median temperatures.
The median maximum temperatures for Wide Bay. This winter, there is a very high chance of exceeding the median temperatures.

Ms Gamble said there was also a pretty good chance of getting above the median minimum temperatures - meaning fewer cold nights for the Wide Bay.

The conditions are being driven by the Indian Ocean Dipole, a weather driver similar to El Nino.

"The IOD is one of the key drivers of Australia's climate and can have a significant impact on agriculture," BOM's IOD forecast stated.

"This is because events generally coincide with the winter crop growing season."

The winter forecast comes after parts of the region experienced the driest summer on record - only 126.4mm of rain was recorded at the Bundaberg Airport BOM station last summer compared to the mean summer rainfall of of 454.2mm.

The last low rainfall record was 139.4mm.

Ms Gamble said the record was a significant one given how long the station had Bundaberg Airport had been recording rainfall. BOM records at the station date back to 1942.

The Fraser Coast also had a dry summer. Only 113.4mm of rain was recorded at Hervey Bay airport across the three months of summer, compared to a mean of 392.9mm.

At Gympie, records show 126mm of rain fell last summer, well below the mean of 465.8mm.

The Wide Bay isn't alone in facing a warm winter. Most of Australia, excluding a patch of far north Queensland, has a very high chance of exceeding median maximum temperatures.