THE El Nino weather pattern continues to consolidate in the Pacific with most climate models indicating it will extend well into next year, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
The event, which typically boosts global surface temperatures and leads to warmer and drier than average conditions for much of Australia, may also be a strong one, the bureau said in its fortnightly update.
Sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific - stretching from just west of the international dateline all the way eastwards to the South American coast - are at least one degree warmer than normal.
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"It is unusual to have such a broad extent of warmth across the tropical Pacific," the bureau said. "The last time this occurred was during the (super) 1997-98 El Nino."
El Ninos can have a big impact on weather conditions, with reduced rainfall in the western Pacific and heavy falls on the ocean's eastern regions. They can also boost global temperatures, which are already running at record levels for the first five months of 2015, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported last week.
The bureau's latest update also shows major global models point to temperatures in a key region of the equatorial Pacific remaining above El-Nino threshold levels at least until March next year - potentially making the event a particularly long one.