Long-range forecasts show some relief for Australia

Australia had recent rainfall (some heavy rain) down its east coast, from Sydney to Melbourne. Sydney will have cooler than average temperatures heading into the weekend.

Long-range forecasts show January is "likely to be wetter" than usual in some regions. However, in areas like southern New South Wales and Northeast Victoria, the weather is likely on the drier side.

Fire season in Australia typically peaks in February: the nation’s hottest and driest month.

Several months of above-average rainfall would be needed to see a recovery from current long-term rainfall deficiencies.