One wet day does not make a season, and despite this week’s soaking across large parts of Victoria and NSW, this spring is still likely to become one of Australia’s hottest and driest on record.

While the odds still heavily favour above-average temperatures and below-average rain through the remainder of the year, the recent weather system has brought notable benefits, including:

  • A major reduction in the immediate fire threat for Victoria and southern NSW, with some major fires now completely extinguished
  • An increase in ground and vegetation moisture, helping to lower the spread of new fires during the coming weeks
  • Much-needed soil moisture for maturing winter crops, summer crop production and grazing
  • Relief from an unseasonably prolonged period of heat

Between 100 and 200mm of rain fell across eastern Victoria this week, triggering widespread flooding.(ABC News)

El Niño and Positive Indian Ocean Dipole intensify

While rain was dousing fires, filling rivers and water tanks and bringing cool relief, the major climate drivers which reduce the frequency of such events were gaining in strength.

That may sound like a contradiction, but it’s important to remember that while El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipoles (IOD) weigh the dice, they don’t guarantee hot and dry weather every week in every patch of the country.

The latest sea surface temperature maps reveal the dire predicament Australia is facing during the coming months; cold water is spreading through the waters off our northern coastline while warm waters continue simmering off Africa and South America.

Cold water off Australia’s northern coast favours dry weather for the remainder of 2023.(Supplied:

This growing trend of cooler waters — compared to average — on our side of the Indian and Pacific basins and warm waters afar has caused a complete breakdown of the normal wind regime.

Data shows winds during the past week across the tropics were deviating strongly away from Australia’s latitudes — a pattern which suppresses cloud and rain in our region.

Essentially, these developments show both El Niño and the positive IOD are well established and gaining in strength.

It’s therefore no surprise the weather charts during the next week are back to what we observed in September – dry weather returning to most of Australia.

While rain will be scarce, thankfully it will remain relatively cool, apart from a quick burst of heat travelling from the WA west coast this weekend to the eastern states later in the week, but maximums are unlikely to reach the extreme levels of the past fortnight.

The next week holds little hope of follow-up rain for Australia.(ABC News)

Here is a state-by-state breakdown of the weather to watch during the next week:


Southern Queensland for the most part missed out on this week’s rainband, only catching the northern tail of the system.

Brisbane only received 4 millimetres and parts of the city, including Archerfield, have not recorded a month with above-average rain since October last year.

Pockets of the Darling Downs are even more parched, having recorded the driest June to September on record. And the while the region is not officially drought declared, the most recent assessment was made back on June 1.

Sunrise at Burleigh Beach, on the Gold Coast, on Friday morning.(Supplied: Rebecca Smith)

The dry spell will continue for most of Queensland during the next week apart from showers on the coast during the next few days and a few storms in the far west from Sunday to Tuesday, but totals even in the wetter areas will remain mostly below 10mm.

The most significant weather system of the coming week is likely to be a burst of heat around Friday and Saturday over south-east districts which will bring an elevated fire danger.


Southern New South Wales, along with the central slopes and ranges, welcomed widespread falls of at least 25mm this week, however the northern regions barely received enough rain to settle the dust.

Sydney’s total of just 8mm from the event still leaves the city needing another 70mm to reach the October average.

Due to the recent dry conditions, most of north-east NSW is now officially in some degree of drought, with small pockets of intense drought declared around Grafton and south-west of Lismore.

More than 30 per cent of NSW is now in some form of drought. (Source: NSW Department of Primary Industries)

While this week’s rain will help to stave off drought from spreading in the short term, a few more soakings are required later this spring to prevent declarations being made in other parts of the state.

The weather predicted for the Bathurst 1000 is ideal; cool and dry.

Although, nights will be chilly for those camping out, with Sunday’s low forecast to drop to just 2 degrees Celsius.

A dreary Circular Quay in Sydney on Friday afternoon.(ABC News: Rex Siu)

The next week holds little hope for follow-up falls of any benefit — just a few coastal showers — but thankfully hot weather will not return until Thursday and should last just one or two days.

In the meantime, enjoy cooler nights this weekend and even a few patches of frost, including in Canberra. The city is forecast to wake to temperatures near freezing on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.


It’s no exaggeration to say the week’s weather in Victoria has been extreme, turning from raging heat and fires to floods and snow in fewer than 48 hours.

The Briagolong bushfire in eastern Victoria burning last weekend.(Supplied: Auriga Martinez)

Snow at Mount Hotham this week after a crazy turn of weather in Victoria.(Supplied: Scott De Vries)

The next few days Victoria will be stuck in a pattern of cool southerly winds and patches of drizzle for the coast.

For inland regions, this weekend will bring cold and frosty nights and calm, mild days.

The extended run of chilly mid-spring weather is even becoming a touch unusual. Bendigo, for example, may record five consecutive nights below 5C for the first time in October for 10 years.

It should warm up across Victoria from Wednesday ahead of a gusty, showery change on Thursday and possibly further fronts and showers from Friday.


Rain across Tasmania from the mid-week low-pressure system was below that observed across Bass Strait, but the island state still welcomed a substantial lowering of the fire threat due to cooler and calmer weather.

The next bout of significant weather will arrive on Thursday as a front brings strong winds and showers, although fire-ravaged eastern districts will only receive light falls.

A lightning strike in suburban Adelaide during a night of wild weather last week.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

South Australia

The weather looks meteorologically boring for South Australia this week — not that anyone’s complaining.

The only weather of interest on the charts will arrive on Thursday when a front brings a gusty cool change.

Adelaide will drop from a warm 29C on Wednesday to a mild 20C on Thursday with no rain. See what I mean — boring.

Western Australia

While eastern states are enjoying restful cool nights, WA is heating up due to a hot northerly airstream off the state’s baked north.

Maximums for Wheat Belt towns will climb to the high 30s this weekend, within a few degrees of all-time October records.

Perth’s hottest day should be Saturday before a cooler westerly change reaches the west coast on Sunday.

A second change from the south-west will drop temperatures further from Tuesday and flush the heat out of the inland by Wednesday.

Across the north of WA, the wait for wet season relief continues.

Port Hedland’s maximum has remained above average for 18 consecutive days and will remain in the high 30s for at least another seven.

Northern Territory

Right on cue, just days after the official start to the wet season, it rained in Darwin on Thursday morning.

The airport gauge only collected 1.6mm but it was still the heaviest rain in six months.

Or, more precisely, the only rain for six months.

The best chance of rain in Darwin this week is from Monday to Wednesday. That’s about the most interesting weather happening in the NT, although fire dangers are elevated this weekend over central regions.