2015 to see enduring El Nino conditions

The El Nino in the Pacific Ocean is likely to affect Australia’s climate for the rest of the year, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

El Nino, a warming of sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific, is associated with drier weather in Australia in winter and spring, especially in the east.

In its fortnightly El Nino Southern Oscillation Index (ENSO) statement, the bureau says the El Nino is still developing.

“International climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology suggest further warming of the tropical Pacific is likely, with sea surface temperatures forecast to remain above El Nino thresholds for the remainder of the year,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Indian Ocean may be about to throw a second, drought-inducing curve-ball at Australia’s climate.

Some international climate models suggest a similar measure, the Indian Ocean Dipole, may begin to affect winter and spring rains in southern Australia and the Top End.

Two out of five climate models that measure the IOD show the western Indian ocean may become warmer than the east, which cuts cloudiness in northwestern Australia and reducing winter and spring rains in the far north and across the south.

Original article appeared on SBS News, 10 June 2015 (link)

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