Sunday, July 14, 2024

El Niño continues in the tropical Pacific, Says BOM

MELBOURNE, Australia – El Niño continues in the tropical Pacific. According to the latest update from the Bureau of Meteorology of the Australian Government, warmer than average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) persist in the tropical Pacific, with warmer water beneath the surface to support further surface warming.

In the atmosphere, cloud, wind and pressure patterns are consistent with El Niño conditions. Climate model forecasts indicate some further warming of the central to eastern Pacific is possible, with SSTs remaining above El Niño thresholds into the early southern hemisphere autumn 2024. The 2023 El Niño event is tracking around moderate strength.

The positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event continues and is currently tracking at strong levels. IOD events tend to break down as the monsoon trough moves south into the southern hemisphere, usually around the end of the southern hemisphere spring. Given the current strength of the positive IOD event, the break down this year is likely to be slightly later than usual. All international climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest the positive IOD is likely to ease in December.

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index is neutral. Forecasts indicate it will remain neutral for the next fortnight. A neutral SAM has limited influence on Australian climate.

The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) is currently over the Western Hemisphere and Africa. International climate models suggest it will move to the Indian Ocean by the end of November. When the MJO is in the western Indian Ocean, it typically has a drying influence on northern and eastern Australia.

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Global warming continues to influence Australian and global climate. Global sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were highest on record for their respective months during April to October.

Australia’s climate has warmed by 1.48 ± 0.23 °C since national records began in 1910. There has been an increase in extreme heat and fire weather associated with the warming. There has also been a trend towards a greater proportion of rainfall from high intensity, short duration rainfall events, especially across northern Australia.

The long-range forecast for Australia indicates December to February rainfall is likely to be below average across much of northern Queensland, the NT, Tasmania, southern and central SA, and north-west and western WA. Warmer days and nights are very likely almost nationwide. The Bureau’s climate model includes all influences on Australian climate when generating its forecasts.

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