The weather bureau says the bushfire season in central Australia should be nowhere near as bad as last year.
Climatologist Max Gonzalez says the long-range forecast indicates the centre is heading into a neutral weather pattern with average temperatures and rainfall.
He says temperatures should be in the mid to high 30s until February.
"Things have actually changed quite dramatically over the past three months, especially in the Pacific Ocean and now we are looking at neutral conditions," he said.
"That's why we are actually talking about neutral rainfall and neutral temperatures."
© ABC 2012
12:54 EST Southern New South Wales and the ACT had a chilly start to the weekend, with some places seeing their coldest May night in half a decade.