Australians are facing a drier and warmer than average winter, with much hoped for rain unlikely to fall in eastern and central parts of the country.
Winter is coming - but it's going to be warmer and drier than usual.
The Bureau of Meteorology on Thursday released its winter outlook at the end of what's shaping up to be one of the five hottest autumns on record.
The figures don't look promising for eastern and central Australia, with drought-affected communities unlikely to receive even average rainfalls this winter.
Bureau long-range forecasting manager Andrew Watkins says models are predicting below average June rainfall in NSW, Victoria, eastern South Australia and southern parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory.
There's also double the risk of an El Nino forming in 2019 which typically means less rain for Australia's east in winter and spring.
"This certainly doesn't mean we will have no rainfall over winter - it is the southern wet season after all - but it does support the model outlook for a drier-than-average winter, with the possibility of more evaporation than normal," Dr Watkins said in a statement on Thursday.
Drier-than-average conditions usually also mean an increase in cloud-free nights which increase the risk of frosts in susceptible areas,
The bureau is also expecting warmer than average days for most of Australia.
"Our climate outlook shows most states and territories have large areas where chances are greater than 80 per cent for warmer than average days," Dr Watkins said.
"Winter nights are very likely to be warmer than average in Tasmania, along the mainland's southeast coast, and northern Western Australia stretching through parts of the Northern Territory."
The bureau will release its autumn summaries on June 3 but preliminary figures show Australia has sweltered through one of its top five hottest autumns as daytime temperatures continued to climb above average.