Drier and warmer? Shouldn’t that be wetter and warmer? Tropical moisture has been falling all over the NT and Queensland outback areas in recent weeks. Into the East Kimberley as well.
Like an El Nino does, heavy rain and floods affected California in recent weeks too.
The monsoon is bearing down on the North of Australia this week.
Near El Niño conditions persist in tropical Pacific Ocean
Issued on 23 December 2014 | Product Code IDCKGEWW00
The tropical Pacific Ocean continues to border on El Niño thresholds, with rainfall patterns around the Pacific Ocean basin, and at times further afield, displaying El Niño-like patterns over recent months.
Indicators remain broadly consistent with borderline El Niño conditions. Sea surface temperatures have exceeded thresholds for a number of weeks, and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has generally been negative for the past few months. Trade winds have been near-average along the equator, but weaker in the broader tropical belt. Together, these indicate some weak coupling of the atmosphere and ocean may be occuring.
Climate models expect little change over the next two to three months, with most predicting a persistence of the current warm sea surface temperatures. If current conditions do persist or strengthen into next year, 2014–15 is likely to be considered a weak El Niño. As a result, the Bureau’s ENSO Tracker status remains at ALERT.
Regardless of El Niño status, El Niño-like impacts are likely to continue, as shown by recent seasonal outlooks. For Australia, this means drier and warmer than average weather is likely in many areas.
BoM’s predictions have been pretty hopeless in recent years. So far, the El Nino hasn’t panned out too well. Bob Tisdale follows ENSO carefully, Continue reading