ENSO Outlook lowered to El Niño Watch

The Bureau of Meterology has lowered its ENSO Outlook to El Niño WATCH after recent observations and climate model outlooks suggested a weakening of the indicating weather patterns.

While sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean remain close to El Niño levels, water beneath the surface has slowly cooled over the past few months.

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

However, the chance of El Niño developing in 2019 is approximately 50%, which is still double the normal likelihood.

El Niño typically brings drier than average conditions for eastern Australia during winter–spring, and warmer days across the southern two-thirds of the country.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. However, models show a tendency towards positive IOD values during the forecast period which can indicate below average winter–spring rainfall for much of southern and central Australia.