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Enso likely to stay neutral until at least winter in the southern hemisphere

La Niña El Niño Enso

MELBOURNE, Australia – The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral, reports the Bureau of Meteorology of the Australian Government in its new Wrap-up. Atmospheric and oceanic indicators including the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), cloudiness near the Date Line, and sea surface and sub-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are at neutral ENSO levels. However, trade winds, another ENSO indicator, are currently weaker than usual near the Date Line.

This is a result of warmer waters in that area and tropical cyclone activity in the region. Additionally, some surface waters in the tropics, near and to the west of the Date Line, are warmer than average, potentially drawing some moisture away from Australia.

This pattern in the western Pacific is offset by anomalously warm sea surface temperatures around northern Australia, which tend to increase rainfall.

International climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest that ENSO is likely to stay neutral until at least the end of the southern hemisphere autumn, meaning it will have limited influence on Australian and global climate in the coming months.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) remains neutral. The IOD typically has little influence on Australian climate from December to April.

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is also currently neutral and is forecast to remain neutral for the next three weeks. The SAM has less impact upon Australian rainfall in autumn.