ENSO-neutral likely for 2017
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.