ENSO Outlook reset to El Niño Inactive

The Bureau of Meteorology has reset its ENSO Outlook to El Niño INACTIVE after the immediate likelihood of El Niño developing has passed.

While the possibility of El Niño can’t be completely ruled out for 2019, the tropical Pacific Ocean is more likely than not to remain in an ENSO-neutral phase over the coming months.

Oceanic and atmospheric indicators are now largely at ENSO-neutral levels with Tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures cooling over the past fortnight but remaining slightly warmer than average while cloudiness near the Date Line and trade winds have been close to neutral over recent weeks.

In the Indian Ocean, waters remain average to cooler than average in eastern parts, and warmer than average further west; a pattern typical of a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD).

Model outlooks indicate a positive IOD is likely to drive Australia’s weather for much of the rest of 2019, meaning the likelihood of a drier than average winter-spring remains with below average rainfall, above average temperatures, and an earlier start to the fire season for southern and central Australia.