The Bureau of Meteorology has launched a new El Niño alert service.
And the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Tracker status is at ALERT level meaning that there is at least a 70% chance of an El Niño in 2014.
Current observations indicate an El Niño is likely to develop by spring (September) with some models indicating a transition to El Niño as early as July.
El Niño conditions generally result in below average winter/spring rainfall over southern and inland eastern Australia, while southern Australia typically experiences warmer days. There’s more on the potential effects in Australia here.
The bureau says the tropical Pacific Ocean has warmed steadily in recent months, with large warm anomalies in the ocean sub-surface (up to +6 °C) and increasingly warm sea surface temperatures.
“El Niño impacts climate across much of the world, including below average rainfall in the western Pacific and Indonesian regions, and increased rainfall in the central and eastern Pacific,” the bureau says. “For Australia, El Niño is usually associated with below average rainfall over southern and eastern inland Australia, with about two-thirds of El Niño events since 1900 resulting in major drought over large parts of the continent.”
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