Monday 22 July 2024
  • La Cimbali

El Niño–Southern Oscillation likely to remain neutral for southern hemisphere winter

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MELBOURNE, Australia – The El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral, according to the Bureau of Meteorology of the Australian Government. Climate model outlooks indicate this neutral phase will last at least until September. With little sign of El Niño or La Niña developing, the Bureau’s ENSO Outlook status is inactive. Oceanic indicators of ENSO persist at neutral levels, with Pacific sea surface temperatures close to average across most of the equatorial region. Beneath the surface, temperatures are also near-average.

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), an atmospheric indicator of ENSO, has now seen both the 30-day and 90-day SOI return to neutral levels. Similarly, winds and cloudiness near the Date Line persist at levels consistent with a neutral ENSO state.

After stalling in the Pacific over the past week, the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) is currently over tropical America. It is forecast to move eastwards towards Africa during the coming fortnight.

At this time of the year, the MJO influence is shifting to the northern hemisphere, and therefore begins to have less influence on northern Australia. When the MJO is active over the African region, convection is typically suppressed over far northern Australia, as well as the tropical regions to the north of Australia.

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is expected to remain neutral for the coming fortnight. When SAM is neutral it has little influence on Australian rainfall.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral and forecast to remain so at least through early winter.

Climate change continues to influence Australian and global climate. Australia’s climate has warmed by 1.44 ± 0.24 °C over 1910–2019, while southern Australia has seen a reduction of 10–20% in cool season (April–October) rainfall in recent decades.

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