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Warmer winter 'almost guaranteed' for Coast as global trend continues

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The Bureau of Meteorology has presented its long-range forecast for the Sunshine Coast.

The weather experts expect warmer and possibly wetter than usual conditions in the region from June to August.

The first week of winter could include some cool mornings with a westerly wind but senior meteorologist Harry Clark told Sunshine Coast News that temperatures could otherwise be relatively high.

“It’s a stark story,” he said.

“The Sunshine Coast and indeed the entire of Australia is almost guaranteed a warmer than average winter.”

“There’s an 80 per cent chance of exceeding the average minimum and maximum temperatures (9.7 and 21.2 degrees Celsius) over the next few months.”

It’s expected to be warmer than usual this season. Picture: BOM.

“That’s not to say we won’t get the odd cold night, but temperatures should come in above average.”

There’s a slim possibility of breaking the region’s highest recorded winter minimum and maximum marks (19.4 degrees Celsius in 2002 and 35 in 2009).

“You couldn’t rule it out,” Mr Clark said.

“You’d need a fair bit of heat to build up in central Australia and get dragged across.

“Above-average temperatures skew the odds. It’s a lot easier to break warm records than cold ones.”

For what it’s worth, the region’s lowest minimum winter temperature was -0.6 degrees Celsius in 2007 and its lowest maximum was 12.4 in 2005, keeping in mind that figures have only been collected at Sunshine Coast Airport since 1994.

Mr Clark said this winter’s expected warmer conditions could generally be attributed to rising sea surface temperatures driven by climate change.

Temperatures during winter – indeed in all seasons – are expected to keep gradually rising in years to come.

“The oceans are so warm, and the Earth has heated up during the past few decades. We’re breaking warm records at a much faster rate than we’re breaking cold records,” Mr Clark said.

There should be average or slightly above average rainfall. Picture: BOM

There’s also the possibility of a wetter winter on the Sunshine Coast.

“(The forecast) is generally leaning to slightly above average rainfall during the next few months,” Mr Clark said.

There’s a 55 to 60 per cent chance the region will get more than 226mm, and a 28 per cent chance of unusually wet conditions.

Mr Clark said the BOM was also monitoring for the possible development of La Nina, which is commonly associated with wetter conditions, later this year.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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