Queanbeyan expecting a warm and dry winter

It was a wet, wintery start to the week in Queanbeyan, but a building El Nino system points to a drier, warmer winter ahead. Photo: Joshua Matic.

It was a wet, wintery start to the week in Queanbeyan, but a building El Nino system points to a drier, warmer winter ahead. Photo: Joshua Matic.

ANYONE expecting a cold and wet winter this year will be sorely disappointed with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting this season to be a dry and warm one in Queanbeyan.

Senior climatologist Agata Imielska said the Bureau is expecting these conditions throughout most of NSW and said we're set for warmer than average weather.

"Currently we have an El Nino developing in the tropical Pacific Ocean," she said.

"In general an El Nino results in drier than normal conditions across large parts of eastern Australia and also warmer temperatures."

However don't worry if you're looking forward to hitting the slopes this snow season, as these conditions don't necessarily mean reduced annual snow fall.

"Obviously it's been quite warm and quite dry [so far] but in general that hasn't necessarily been a predictor for what the snow season has been like," Ms Imielska said.

"We've had some winters during El Nino years that have actually turned out to be quite good snow seasons but it can also be quite dry."

Queanbeyan is also expected to have an increased number of frosts during the season, again due to El Nino.

"During El Nino we generally get clear conditions and that can be conducive to frost," she said.

"Despite minimal frost [so far] we actually see increased frost risk during El Nino years because we get those clear conditions which make it warm during the day but calm, still and clear at night."

These warmer and drier conditions are expected to continue throughout the next season and into summer as well, potentially increasing the risk of bushfires later in the year.

"We have got at least a 70% chance that we will get an El Nino event this year," Ms Imielska said.

"During these events we generally do have increased bush fire risks."

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