ENSO Outlook lowered to El Nino Watch

The Bureau of Meterology has lowered its ENSO Outlook to El Niño WATCH after recent observations and climate model outlooks suggested the immediate risk had passed.

The Tropical Pacific sea surface and sub-surface temperatures remain warmer than average, but since late 2018 they have cooled from El Niño-like values towards ENSO-neutral values.

Other atmospheric indicators including cloudiness, trade winds and the Southern Oscillation Index all continue to generally remain within the ENSO-neutral range.

However, there remains an increased likelihood that El Niño will develop later in 2019 with El Niño WATCH meaning there is a 50% chance of El Niño developing during the southern hemisphere autumn or winter.

While most climate models indicate ENSO-neutral conditions for the immediate future, the current ocean warmth and likelihood of ongoing warmer than average conditions mean the risk of El Niño remains.

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