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Pacific and Indian likely to remain neutral until southern hemisphere autumn

La Niña Alert ENSO

MELBOURNE, Australia – Both the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are neutral, and likely to remain so at least until the end of the southern hemisphere autumn reports the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology in its latest wrap-up. When these main climate drivers are neutral, Australia’s climate can be influenced by more local or short-term climate drivers.

Overall, ENSO indicators are neutral. However, tropical waters near and to the west of the Date Line remain warmer than average, potentially drawing some moisture away from Australia.

Additionally, tropical cyclone Tino, in combination with the passage of the Madden-Julian Oscillation, has provided a burst of westerly winds in the western Pacific, with potential to further warm parts of the western Pacific in the coming week or two.

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 in the coming months.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral. The IOD typically has little influence on Australian climate from December to April. However, the effects from the strong positive IOD event that occurred in the second half of 2019 persist, with the landscape primed for bushfire weather and heatwaves this summer.

When ENSO and IOD are neutral, other influences can affect Australian climate. The Bureau’s Climate Outlooks for the weeks, months and seasons ahead include all the climate influences on Australian weather.