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. Visit FarmOnline Weather for more updates and information
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.