As we celebrate the beginning of a new year, many will notice that Australia’s weather patterns will also be turning a new leaf.
The biggest change from December to January will be the arrival of the first burst of the monsoon in the Australian tropics, with its affects felt nation-wide.
The monsoon trough is currently situated just to the north of Australia, meaning that the ‘build up’ is still in full swing.
Thankfully for many in the WA Kimberley, NT Top End and QLD Peninsula the arrival of the monsoon will signal the end to the hot, humid and stormy weather and the arrival of the cooler monsoon rains.
The arrival of the monsoon is not all good, with a heightened risk of tropical cyclone development.
So far this cyclone season no system has threatened the Australian coastline, but early in the new year a cyclone is a good chance to develop on the northwest shelf, posing a serious threat to the WA Kimberley and Pilbara.
The affects of the monsoon will be felt across the nation.
This week we will see one of the first northwest cloudbands since last summer.
Northwest cloudbands draw in moisture from the tropics, and produce cloud and areas of rain over much of the country as they work their way from the west to the east.
The first one of the new year looks like it will be weak, primarily affecting the south and east during the weekend. As the monsoon continues there are likely to be much more pronounced northwest cloudbands that will bring much needed rain to our dry and dusty interior.
In Queensland and New South Wales there have been an unusually high number of thunderstorms during December with inland low pressure troughs.
As summer continues coastal areas will start to see showers and rain more often than thunderstorms, particularly in Queensland as the wet season takes hold.
Hopefully the new years increase in rainfall in the Great Southern Land will be distributed far and wide to help all those that need it most.