LARGE areas of Queensland, the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia are likely to be drier in March.
That's according to the Bureau of Meteorology's latest climate outlook, which says there is a 60-70 per cent chance of drier conditions in Queensland and the NT, and up to 75pc chance in northern WA.
However, southern Western Australia, southern South Australia, and the western and central parts of both Victoria and NSW have an increased chance of being wetter than average (60-70pc chance).
The outlook improves in autumn with BoM saying the chances of a wetter or drier than average March to May are roughly equal for most of Australia.
"However, scattered parts of the tropical north have a slightly increased chance of being drier than average (60-65pc chance)," BoM says
"Southern WA, southern SA, western Victoria and southwest NSW have a slightly increased chance of being wetter than average (60-70pc chance, up to 75pc chance in southern WA)."
Meanwhile, ex-tropical cyclone Esther is continuing to move as a deep tropical low westwards across the Gregory district in the Northern Territory.
The system will enter the Kimberley region in Western Australia on Friday, most likely remaining over land.
"If the tropical low moves out over water it will only do so briefly before moving back over land in the Kimberley later on Friday," the forecast says.
On Saturday, the tropical low is expected to continue moving west over the Kimberley region.
There are currently no significant tropical lows in the Coral Sea, and none are expected to develop during the next three days.
BoM said major Australian climate drivers including the El Nio-Southern Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole were forecast to remain neutral through autumn.
"When these major climate drivers are neutral, widespread above or below average seasonal rainfall becomes less likely," BoM says.