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More hot weather predicted for Australia

Bureau of Meteorology’s summer outlook says 80% chance of December being hotter than normal in QLD, NSW, SA and Victoria. This will stretch volunteer resources that have already fought many bushfires already this season. Dozens of bushfires are currently still burning across the eastern states as crews battle high winds.

Australia has had its second wettest winter on record this year, soils are also nice and damp, says Andrew Watkins from the bureau’s climate prediction team. But the rain has also resulted in heavy vegetation growth that could fuel fires when it dries out in the hotter – and drier-than-average – conditions now being forecast for December. Watkins says there’s also an elevated risk of heatwaves next month thanks to something known as the southern annular mode. This climate driver typically generates more westerly winds that prevent northern wet season rains from reaching southern parts of the continent and cooling things down.

For more information, go to www.theguardian.com

 

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Neil Bibby was Chief Executive Officer of the Country Fire Authority between 2002 and 2009 and Managing Director People and Innovation