THE Wimmera and Mallee are on track for a hotter than average summer.
However there are no strong indicators for a wetter or drier season than normal.
Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Tom Delamotte said the bureau’s summer outlook issued on Thursday showed temperatures from December to February were likely to be warmer than average across most parts of the country.
“There's a greater than 75 per cent chance of exceeding the mean maximum temperatures for summer right through the Wimmera and Mallee,” he said.
“In terms of exceeding the mean average minimums, the percentage is pretty similar.”
Bureau statistics show mean maximum temperatures across the Wimmera in December usually range between 25 and 31 degrees.
For January, the long-term average maximums are between 27 and 33 degrees, while the February average maximums are similar.
In terms of rainfall, Mr Delamotte said the outlook did not indicate whether above or below average totals could be expected.
He said a developing El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean was driving these summer predictions.
“While the indicators for warmer than average conditions are solid, there’s no strong indications of a wetter or drier than average summer in the Wimmera and Mallee,” he said.
“People do often associate El Niño with drier conditions, but it usually has its strongest effect in the winter months.
“It doesn't have as strong an influence on rainfall in south-east Australia during summer, which is why we’re not seeing strong predictions around rainfall in the summer months.”
The summer forecast comes on the back of a dry spring, where many parts of the Wimmera and Mallee received between half to two thirds of their average rainfall.
“Totals through much of the Mallee were less than 50mm through spring,” Mr Delamotte said.
“In the Wimmera we did see some falls through southern parts reach up to 70mm to 80mm in that period, but overall rainfall was very much below average for that time of year.
“In terms of the temperature, maximums were generally about a degree above average, while minimums were pretty close to average throughout spring.”