Australia is set for drama-free Christmas weather after one of its warmest years on record.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a quiet Christmas Day with generally fine weather across much of the country.
“It’s going to be a beautiful day for many parts, probably one of the most stable and quietest weather days we’ve seen for most, if not all, parts of the country,” senior forecaster Dean Narramore said on Friday.
Some showers and thunderstorms were expected for the area between Sydney and Brisbane, the Top End and the Kimberley Coast, he said.
Narramore said the best forecast for warm and sunny weather will be in Perth and Adelaide.
Inland areas would probably hit 40C, which would be a few degrees above average but not record heat, he said.
Narramore said the temperature would rise midweek in much of southeast Australia before the next “weather maker” moved through on Thursday into Friday, which could result in some showers and storms.
It was too early to predict the weather for New Year’s Eve, he said.
Senior climatologist Dr Andrew Watkins said Sydney and Brisbane should be a little cooler than normal during January, while Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth were looking a little warmer.
“We’re looking at some warmer conditions through southeastern Australia and also in the southwest as well – warmer days but also unfortunately a few warmer nights, a bit more uncomfortable for sleeping,” Watkins said.
“In terms of rainfall, possibly a little wetter through New South Wales and Queensland, particularly in the eastern half of the state, but elsewhere the odds aren’t really strongly swinging towards a wetter or drier January.”
Watkins said Australia was experiencing La Niña conditions, but nowhere near as strong as the last La Niña in 2010-12, which caused widespread flooding rain over January.
He said 2017 was likely to have been among the top five warmest years on record for Australia, and in the top 10 for NSW, Queensland, Victoria and possibly South Australia.
Annual rainfall will have been close to average.