The Bureau of Meteorology says there's a 70 percent chance of El Nino weather conditions by the end of the year, which is the opposite of what Australia's drought-ravaged areas needs.

"Between the temperature and the lack of rainfall, this is not good news," climatologist Robyn Duell said.  "This outlook on the back of such little rainfall and dry conditions makes it such a worry for people."

Last month was the driest September since record-keeping began in 1900.  Most of New South Wales are still struggling with the Big Dry, with large swaths of the map marked as under an "intense drought".  Close to 60 percent of Queensland is in drought; conditions are worsening in parts of Victoria.  In the north, the rainy season is starting out much drier than usual.

"The dry conditions are very severe in large parts of eastern Australia and it's been quite devastating, the impacts for a lot of people," Ms Duell said, as quoted by the ABC.