The weather bureau is predicting a big change in Australia's forecast this summer, with an El Nino no longer expected. Average rainfall is predicted in the coming months in the absence of El Nino - Australia's major weather pattern in the 21st century which brings drought-like conditions.
After decades of weathering poor rainfalls, farmers are welcoming the change around
Dr Andrew Watkins, the chief climate forecaster says it is the biggest turnaround in weather patterns since records began. By September, all of a sudden, the temperature started to cool down, the trade winds started to become a little bit enhanced, and the cloud patterns and other indicators like that headed away from El Nino.
This is what we're looking at as climatologists, giving us the heads up about what may happen over the next few months, and indeed what we're seeing now is a backing off from those El Nino thresholds. The climatologists say they are not sure why there has been a cooling down and it actually is quite a unique situation if we end up not going into an El Nino event.
But a lot of farmers take these sorts of predictions with a grain of salt. Victorian Farmers Federation's Grains Group president Andrew Weidemann runs a mixed farm in the state's north-west.
"The weather bureau tend to put out these predictions, but I guess in the farming sector what we deal with is results," he said. "The results we're looking for are moisture at the critical times of the season to try and produce as much as we possibly can."
Much further north, the change is pointing to a good wet season in the vast grazing country across the Top End. Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association executive director Luke Bowen says the forecast is good news.
"Good news for the monsoon region, given that there had been predictions that it was going to be a very, very late wet," he said. "It's also potentially good news for those areas south of the tropic, where we've had a run of a couple of good years through central Australia, through the arid zone."