ENSO-neu­tral likely for 2017

South Burnett Times - - RURAL WEEKLY -

THE El Niño-South­ern Os­cil­la­tion re­mains neu­tral, with vir­tu­ally all in­di­ca­tors close to their av­er­age val­ues.

In re­cent weeks, the cen­tral and east­ern trop­i­cal Pa­cific Ocean has shown sur­face warm­ing, and cli­mate mod­els sug­gest this warm­ing is likely to con­tinue dur­ing the south­ern au­tumn.

Be­low the sur­face, western Pa­cific tem­per­a­tures are up to 5°C warmer than at the same time last year, in­di­cat­ing La Niña-like con­di­tions are un­likely in 2017.

At this time of year, when ENSO and cli­mate mod­els have great­est vari­abil­ity, some cau­tion must be taken when us­ing re­cent con­di­tions, such as cen­tral Pa­cific warm­ing, to de­ter­mine likely con­di­tions in win­ter.

Hence ei­ther neu­tral or El Niño are the most likely ENSO state for the south­ern win­ter and spring. El Niño is of­ten associated with be­low-av­er­age rain­fall dur­ing the se­cond half of the year across large parts of south­ern and in­land east­ern Aus­tralia.

Day­time tem­per­a­tures also tend to be above av­er­age over south­ern Aus­tralia.

The In­dian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is typ­i­cally too weak to have a sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on the Aus­tralian cli­mate from De­cem­ber to April.

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