The west is set to sizzle and the south and east are expecting tropical rain over the next few days, before things calm down for Santa’s arrival.
Sydney and Brisbane still have the chance of showers on Friday, but the rainfall is expected to be far less damaging than it has been of late.
According to Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Jonathan How, it is set to be “a little bit of everything on Christmas Day”.
“The good news is that we aren’t expecting to get any heavy rainfall or scorching heat to ruin plans.”
He even thinks Adelaide could be the place to be this Christmas Day — yes, Adelaide.
The east coast is looking cooler than average for this time of year.
Brisbane Brisbane is forecast to reach 28C on Friday, which will come as a massive relief to all who have been suffering through a few sticky weeks without air conditioning.
The main question mark in the forecast this far out is around where and when showers could hit on Christmas Day.
“There’s a little bit of uncertainty. There’s still a lot of tropical moisture moving down from Western Australia and the Northern Territory as well,” How said. “It certainly will be cloudy for Brisbane, you can put your money on that.”
But the showers are expected to have less in them than the falls last week, with only a few millimetres expected in the gauges on Friday.
Predictably, further north there is a better chance of good rain and very little for the south-west.
Mount Isa is forecast to be 35C and partly cloudy, Townsville 33C and partly cloudy, Rockhampton 27C with a shower or two, and Thargomindah 33C and sunny.
Let’s be honest, the Christmas forecast for Darwin could have been written six months ago — 32C with the chance of a storm.
There are a number flood watches and severe weather warnings around a tropical low and the active monsoon trough across north-west WA and the NT.
How said the severe weather warning was expected to last through to the end of Tuesday, but thankfully the tropical low was likely to drift off into the Indian Ocean without “causing too much drama”.
The rainfall across the tropics is generally expected to ease off from today, thanks to the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) weakening and moving off from the Australian region.
Monsoon break-style conditions are now expected until the next active phase of the MJO moves into the region.
“In the lead up to New Year’s at this stage, we are not expecting any major tropical systems to be developing across the north of Australia,” How said.
“Just general summertime showers and thunderstorms across the north.”
How said tropical cyclones were “definitely not” something we should be worrying about for Christmas Day.
But tropical conditions can of course change quickly and it is always important to stay across any warnings during the wet.
Down south, Alice Springs has been getting some rain over the past few days but is expected to be dry for Christmas Day at 27C and partly cloudy.
The City of Churches is forecast to be 29C and sunny this Christmas Day.
“Adelaide is looking like the best capital city, in my opinion,” How said — a big call for a Victorian.
The forecaster is clearly envious.
“An absolutely perfect day. They definitely got lucky.”
The south of the state is expected to be slightly cooler and partly cloudy in parts; Victor Harbor is set to be 23C and mostly sunny, Bordertown also mostly sunny and 28C, while Robe is forecast to be 21C and partly cloudy.
The north is set to be predictably warmer but surprisingly bearable for that part of the world — Jamestown 31C, Coober Pedy 35C, Tarcoola 36C.
“If you are not in Adelaide, the second best place is probably Perth,” Mr How said.
Perth is looking at sunny conditions and a top of 32C on Christmas Day, however it is looking pretty hot in the lead-up.
The city is forecast to reach 35C Tuesday, 39C Wednesday and 37C Thursday, constituting low-intensity heatwave conditions.
Margaret River is forecast to be 27C and partly cloudy on Friday, Esperance 33C and mostly sunny, and Carnarvon 36C and sunny.
The north, meanwhile, is set to be at its tropical best.
Port Hedland is predicted to be 37C with the chance of a storm on Christmas Day and Broome is also looking stormy with 33C.
Southerly breezes and a bit of cloud about is expected to keep a lid on the temperatures for Victoria for Friday.
How said it was set to be a “quite nice” 21C in Melbourne.
“Perfect for being out; it’s not going to get too hot or too cold for Melbourne.”
Shepparton is set to be 28C and sunny, Horsham 27C and mostly sunny, Wilsons Promontory 17C and partly cloudy, and Mallacoota 19C and cloudy.
For the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, Mr How said the good news was that even though it was going to be quite rainy over the next few days in Victoria, there will be a brightening trend up until the weekend.
“Saturday’s looking absolutely beautiful across Melbourne. No complaints for those heading into the MCG and looking at a warm top of 28 degrees.”
In the meantime, as the tropical low over the NT tropics streams moisture into the south-east, decent falls are expected to continue in Victoria until Tuesday night.
To no one’s surprise, Tasmania is set to host the coldest capital city on Christmas Day.
“Dry and just partly cloudy, with slight breaks of sunshine as well for Hobart,” Mr How said.
Hobart is set to reach a maximum of 19C, but things are at least expected to warm up on Saturday, getting to 24C, and Sunday 26C with the chance of a shower.
Launceston is forecast to be 21C and partly cloudy on Christmas Day and Queenstown 17C with a possible light shower.
New South Wales
Sydney is expecting showers on Christmas Day, but they are forecast to clear off around lunchtime while the city reaches a maximum of 24C.
Mr How said most of the thunderstorm activity on Friday would be north of Newcastle.
Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour are forecast to reach 26C and Murwillumbah 27C, all with a shower or two.
West of the divide is looking sunny for Christmas Day.
Coonabarabran is set to be 29C and mostly sunny, Broken Hill 32C and sunny, and Wagga Wagga 30C and mostly sunny.
Before then, rainfall is expected to continue Tuesday, especially for north-eastern NSW.
How said we could see more river rises today.
“But then a lot of that system is going to quickly just dive into the Tasman Sea.”
He said conditions would return to more general showers and thunderstorms over Christmas but “nothing too major”.
The Sydney to Hobart cancellation means there will be no coverage of the expected northerly winds which would have aided a quick start to the race, followed by a cold front expected on Sunday that would have shaken things up for those out on the water.
Canberra could also get a few morning showers on Christmas Day.
“It should start to get a bit of sunshine by the afternoon top of 23C,” How said.
– ABC / Kate DoyleJump to next article