THERE may be very little chance of above average rainfall in the region in coming months, but the chance of exceeding maximum temperatures is as high as it gets, new data shows.
The climate outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology on Thursday shows there is a very strong likelihood of continuing dry conditions from November to January.
Earlier this week, the Bureau upgraded the ENSO Outlook for an El Nino from watch to alert.
While some locations in the Central West and Orana have already received their monthly rain totals for October, it was far from enough with the entire region still in drought.
Data from the Bureau shows there is a 75 per cent chance of exceeding the median maximum temperatures for areas including: Bathurst, Lithgow, Orange and Mudgee from November to January.
While in Dubbo, Parkes and Young the chance increases to 80 per cent.
Rainfall, however, will be well below average across the entire region during the three-month period, with just a 40 per cent chance of exceeding the average rainfall in Dubbo.
For the rest of the Central West and Orana, the chance drops to 35 per cent.
Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Dr Lynette Bettio said climate influences were driving a drier outlook for the next three months.
“Large parts of south-eastern Australia are also likely to be driver than average from November to January, meaning the chance of widespread relief from current dry conditions are lower for the coming months,” she said.
“Warmer and drier than usual conditions in this late spring to summer period increases the risk of heatwaves and bushfires in Australia over the coming months.”
Dr Bettio said stream flows were expected to be low for the remainder of 2018.
“The continued dry conditions across most of Australia through September means the stream flow outlook for October to December is for mostly low flows,” she said.