The risk of further frosts will continue into spring, the Bureau of Meteorology warned in its spring outlook issued last week.
Bureau climate prediction manager Andrew Watkins said while spring days and nights were expected to be warmer than average for the north and south-east of the country, clear nights meant the risk of frost would continue — particularly in areas with drier soils.
‘‘While Australia’s main climate drivers — the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole — are both neutral, other climate drivers are likely to influence spring,’’ Dr Watkins said.
‘‘Warm waters in the central Indian Ocean may result in higher pressures south of Australia, resulting in more easterly winds, keeping the west drier than average.
‘‘We’ve just experienced a very warm and dry winter. In fact, daytime temperatures were at record-high levels across much of the country this winter.
‘‘These warm and dry conditions have meant fire potential in parts of eastern Australia has been unusually high this winter.
‘‘Bushfires have already occurred in northern NSW and southern Queensland.
‘‘In contrast, winter nights have been notably cooler than average in areas such as the Murray-Darling Basin.’’
Bureau senior forecaster Scott Williams said a brief taste of spring last week would be replaced by blustery conditions across much of south-eastern Australia from the weekend.
‘‘After a chilly morning with inland frosts, the south-east of the country can expect a settled first day of spring with plenty of sunshine and light winds,’’ Mr Williams said.
‘‘Temperatures will struggle though, with south-eastern capitals only reaching 16 to 18°C.
‘‘The first few days of spring will bring changeable weather across the south as a cold front moves across South Australia Saturday then Victoria, Tasmania and southern NSW on Sunday.’’
The bureau’s rainfall and temperature climate outlooks show the likelihood, as a percentage, of experiencing wetter or drier and warmer or cooler than average weather for the upcoming three months.
■‘Skywonkie’ is an Australian colloquial term for a person who can predict the weather.