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After a scorching summer, Queensland is set for a dry autumn

Dr Watkins said summer had two main climate drivers.

“At the start of summer, we saw both a very strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole and a near-record negative Southern Annular Mode, and that resulted in both the warmest and driest December on record, with significant fire weather throughout many parts of the country,” he said.

Dr Watkins said the two drivers returned to neutral levels in January and the late arrival of the northern monsoon brought in moisture.

“The rainfall helped contain many of the long-lived bushfires in the east and helped ease drought conditions in some locations,” he said.

“But many inland regions experienced only patchy rainfall and we still need to see sustained rainfall to relieve drought in many areas.”

Dr Watkins said autumn was historically a time of year when the main climate drivers changed from one state to another.

“All international models analysed by the bureau are currently showing our climate drivers in the Pacific or Indian Ocean remaining neutral in the coming months,” he said.

Dr Watkins said rainfall in Queensland would continue to look scarce in autumn, especially in March, when conditions were predicted to be drier than normal in the northern half of the state.

“In terms of temperatures, though, it is looking warmer than average,” he said.

Dr Watkins said there would be a clearer indication of the driving changes in winter.

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