Sea surface temperatures remain around average or below average for this time of year throughout the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, with the exception of the northern part of the Far Northern management area of the Marine Park (above Princess Charlotte Bay) where temperatures are 0.5 – 1.5°C above average.
Localised instances of minor bleaching have been reported from all regions of the Marine Park since the start of summer, particularly in the northern half of the Reef.
Forecast models still predict above average sea surface temperatures through February and March for the entire Reef. However, the cooler regional weather in January has seen the threat of mass bleaching reduced markedly for most of the Reef from predictions earlier this summer.
The very far north remains an area with potential for thermal stress to continue. The impending monsoon activity over northern Australia in the coming few days will likely bring some cooler conditions to the far northern Marine Park and will extend further south.
Regional and local weather conditions over the remainder of summer continue to be critical in determining the outcome for the Reef this summer.