The current cold snap and snow on the Alps etc has got the media chattering.
I have had people asking me – did the BoM predict this cold snap? Well – their daily weather forecasting saw it coming – but the three month Outlooks are on another time scale altogether for a cold snap that might last a few days or a week.
Anyway – I checked out the BoM Outlook predictions for Autumn, March-April-May – and tried to assess real world results to date.
This link shows you the two Outlook maps, one for maximum (day) and one for minimum (night) . Looking at the SE alpine area max – Melbourne to Sydney approx – Autumn days are predicted to be warmer and a prominent cool patch is predicted over SE Queensland. Minimums in the SE are predicted to be warmer again compared to the maximums.
After that I tried to assess real world results to date at this BoM page. Now making maps for the Maximum Anomaly – choose a “1 month” timespan – that should bring up the map for April then if you carefully click on the little grey “EARLIER” tab – you can flip the map back to March. It is clear that the SE maximum temperatures have been anomalously cool those two months. You can also change the time from “1 month” to “1 week” – and it is clear that early May days were were anomalously cooler in Victoria but just slightly warmer over the Alps.
On balance, I think the BoM Autumn maximum temperature Outlook will probably be proven too warm when all the May data is in.
To the Minimum Outlook for Autumn – just change your map selection to Minimum Anomaly – and follow the same procedure as above for the maximum.
- The March map shows the SE was patchy but on average fairly neutral.
- The April map shows the SE was cooler than normal.
- The “1 week” map shows most of May to date has been notably cooler than normal in the SE.
So on balance the real world minimum temperatures in the SE have been cooler than normal – not very warm as the Autumn Outlook predicted. But we have a couple of weeks to go.
In a nutshell, the BoM needs a scorcher late May heatwave in the SE to bring Autumn temperatures to match their Outlook.