Warm and wet start to winter forecast

Belinda Tasker

The start of winter is set to be wet and warm for large swathes of Australia, according to the Bureau of Meteorology's latest seasonal forecast.

Wetter-than-average conditions are expected across the southeast between May and July, with daytime temperatures forecast to be warmer than usual.

The bureau's latest three-monthly climate outlook comes after a series of sweltering days across NSW, Victoria and South Australia where April temperatures soared to record highs.

Senior climatologist Dr Lynette Bettio said the forecast reflected warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures around New Zealand and in the Tasman sea.

"This may cause lower pressures over eastern Australia with a swing toward above average rainfall in the far southeast," she said on Thursday.

"Northern Australia is also likely to receive above average rainfall, however we are coming into the dry season across the north so we don't need large rainfall totals to exceed the median.

"Days and nights are forecast to be warmer than average across the south and cooler than average across parts of northern Australia, especially in Queensland."