Pacific 'primed' for El Nino

01 Apr, 2015 06:21 AM
There is about a 50 per cent chance of an El Nino developing in the coming months

RECENT warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean has primed it for an El Nino, but history has shown current trends don't always lead that way.

International climate models monitored by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate the central tropical Pacific Ocean is likely to continue to warm, with all models predicting El Nino thresholds will be reached or exceeded by mid-year.

However, the accuracy of model outlooks at this time of year, the traditional El Nino–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) transition period, is lower than for outlooks made at other times of the year.

Hence, some caution should be exercised when using model outlooks to predict the likelihood of El Nino.

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  • The Bureau's ENSO tracker remains at El Nino watch status. This means that when current observations and model outlooks are considered together, there is about a 50 per cent chance of an El Nino developing in the coming months, which is twice the normal likelihood.

    El Nino is often associated with below-average winter and spring rainfall over eastern Australia and above-average daytime temperatures over the southern half of Australia, but in the shorter-term, much of Australia is likely to have a wetter-than-average April to June.

    For further information see the latest climate outlook.

    Bureau of MeteorologySource:
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    1/04/2015 8:03:39 AM

    50/50 again. It's sooooo beneficial to have all this high-tech met bureau information at my fingertips!!
    1/04/2015 10:30:56 AM

    Why didn't you read the article, Makka, before making such a profound comment? You would have found that a 50% chance of an El Nino developing is more than twice the norm. That is, twice as likely to result in below average winter and spring rainfall. It's all about probabilities, based on available evidence.
    1/04/2015 10:59:59 AM

    Its obvious Macca that no matter how much information was available from the B Met, you would be incapable of using it - yes, even if you wanted to.
    1/04/2015 11:00:00 AM

    Nico! The article clearly states 50%- I did read the rest, HOWEVER, 50/50 IS 50/50. Also, they have only just come out (last week) with a prophesy of a wetter than normal Apr/Jun. Go figure.
    1/04/2015 11:19:22 AM

    Agree Makka, I just finished reading the article on the wet ahead. Also @Nico, I'm sorry but I'll believe it when I see it, what happened to the strong El Nino that was apparently a definite over the summer. Also Nico, given the robust debates you have had on here, I will clarify that I am not a denialist but the BOM hasn't had much luck of late on the El Nino forecasting.
    1/04/2015 11:42:52 AM

    Steve- over the years, I have discovered that I get myself into FAR less trouble by NOT placing too much credence in the Met Bureau's ruminations, incidentally, like Cam, I am not a denialist either - just a realist.
    1/04/2015 12:32:19 PM

    get real nico.... 50% doesn't mean a thing without clarity on what the independent variables are, how the variables were selected, and some more accurate resolution of the topographical selection. The evidence would indicate it would a 50% chance that a knee would ache before it was going to rain. It should be compulsory for all of these forecasters to step outside and visit a rural area where there are farmers who have to roll the dice against the weather and are playing for keeps. No forecast would be more useful and less emotionally devastating than a misleading one, (and cheaper as well!)
    Pete Rothwell
    1/04/2015 1:26:44 PM

    I for one am quite worried about this year. All computer models are pointing at an elnino, yes I know computer models are computer models but generally when they all say the same thing that is a pretty good indication. I get the feeling that the BOM is quite reluctant to get off the fence on this one really. Their record in the last few years has been pretty shocking really. Autumn and winter rainfall seems to be more influenced by the IOD, hence the wetter forecast where as the pacific tends to affect us more here in the East during spring and summer.
    1/04/2015 5:22:33 PM

    Trying to call an El Nino at this time of the year is pointless, no one knows what will happen. However some people are paid to create the impression that they know. pepper - they should have to wager their salaries on any forecast they make. Admit they don't know, or nominate what precent of their salaries they are willing to wager.
    2/04/2015 7:03:03 AM

    Cam, you say that el Nino was "apparently a definite all summer", but your memory is letting you down. The BoM did think an el Nino was "probable" in December, but that probability has declined to 50%, which has been reported regularly in The Land. And, Makka, to spell it out again: a 50% chance is more than twice the norm. Get it? It would normally be less than 25% chance. Think about it.
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