Thursday 25 July 2024
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El Niño – Southern Oscillation neutral, but tropical Pacific Ocean warming

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The El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral — neither El Niño nor La Niña reports the Bureau of Meteorology of the Australian Governement (BOM). Climate model consensus indicates that ENSO will continue in a neutral phase for at least the southern hemisphere winter.

Atmospheric and oceanic indicators of ENSO are largely neutral. Sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean are now warmer than average, but remain well within the neutral range.

In the tropical Pacific sub-surface, waters have warmed, and will likely lead to further warming of the surface of the ocean in the eastern Pacific in the coming weeks. In the atmosphere, the Southern Oscillation Index and trade winds are near-average.

Most international climate models indicate some further warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean is likely in the coming months. The amount of warming varies, with some models predicting close to the long-term average, but three of the eight models reach El Niño levels during spring.

During El Niño, rainfall in eastern Australian is typically below average during winter and spring. A neutral ENSO phase has little effect on Australian climate.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) remains neutral. All six international climate models suggest the IOD is likely to remain neutral until at least the southern hemisphere spring.

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