MELBURNE, Australia – The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral, according to the latest update released by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology. The Indian Ocean is expected to be the dominant driver of Australia’s climate over the coming months.
The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) index has been above the positive IOD threshold for four of the past five weeks, with values strengthening in the past month. However, the broader Indian Ocean patterns of sea surface temperature, cloud, and wind have been positive IOD-like since late May.
All climate models surveyed by the Bureau forecast positive IOD conditions to continue for the southern hemisphere spring. Typically, a positive IOD brings below average winter–spring rainfall to southern and central Australia, above average daytime temperatures for the southern two-thirds of Australia, and increased fire risk in the southeast.
The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral
neither El Niño nor La Niña. Atmospheric and oceanic indicators of ENSO are mostly close to average, reflecting neutral tropical Pacific cloud patterns and rainfall.
Most climate models indicate the tropical Pacific is likely to remain ENSO-neutral for the rest of 2019, meaning other climate drivers are likely to remain as the primary influences on Australian and global weather.