Australia can expect a wetter than normal summer, but bush and grass fires cannot be ruled out completely, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Summer Climate Outlook.
The outlook for summer has been issued as Australia continues to experience an active La Niña event which is expected to remain until at least the start of autumn.
The Bureau’s Head of Operational Climate Services Dr Andrew Watkins said this meant large parts of eastern Australia had an increased risk of flooding.
“Our climate outlook is the opposite of what we experienced last year in Australia. This summer, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland are expected to see above average rainfall, meaning we face an increased risk of widespread floods.”
Andrew said that while the risk of bushfires was not as high as last summer, fires would occur. “There’s a great chance of grass fires in some areas as recent rain and warm weather have led to vigorous vegetation growth.”
He said the outlook was also a reminder for communities to be prepared for heatwaves over the coming months. “This summer heatwaves may not reach the extreme temperatures of recent years, but may be longer duration and more humid.”
Northern Australia remains on track for an average to slightly above-average cyclone season.