Monday 17 June 2024
  • La Cimbali

Indian Ocean Dipole over and out for 2015

A strong El Niño persists in the tropical Pacific Ocean

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The positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)—which reinforced El Niño impacts since late August—has broken down over the past fortnight. This rapid decay is common at the start of the monsoon season. The IOD has little influence on Australian climate between December and April.

More broadly, Indian Ocean temperatures have remained warmer than average through 2015; the October sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly for the Indian Ocean was the highest positive anomaly for any month on record.

The warm Indian Ocean appears to have offset some of the drying influence from El Niño during the winter months.

A strong El Niño persists in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The event is comparable to the record events of 1997–98 and 1982–83.

International climate models suggest that El Niño SSTs are approaching their peak, and will decrease in the first quarter of 2016.

With such warm SSTs, models suggest the tropical Pacific is unlikely to return to neutral until at least autumn 2016, although impacts on Australian climate are likely to decline prior to this.


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