MELBOURNE, Australia — The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has returned to neutral after one of the strongest positive IOD events to impact Australia in recent history, says the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology in its latest report. The IOD is expected to remain neutral in the coming months, meaning that it will have little influence on Australian and global climate.
However, the IOD’s legacy of widespread warm and dry conditions during the second half of 2019 primed the Australian landscape for bushfire weather and heatwaves this summer.
In the Pacific Ocean, although indicators of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) are neutral, the tropical ocean near and to the west of the Date Line remains warmer than average, potentially drawing some moisture away from Australia.
Most climate models indicate ENSO will remain neutral until at least the end of the southern hemisphere autumn, meaning it will have limited influence on Australian and global climate.
When the IOD and ENSO are neutral, Australia’s climate can be influenced by more local or short-term climate drivers. The Bureau’s Climate Outlook for the weeks, months and seasons ahead include all the climate influences on Australian weather.