El Niño threat drops but IOD now positive

El Niño threat drops but IOD now positive


Grains
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It's a case of out of the frying pan into the fire for Aussie farmers with the odds of an El Niño dropping, but an IOD positive now likely.

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It's been a tough year for croppers in Australia this season and while threats of an El Niño are fading a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event, also correlated with below average rain, is a chance to form.

It's been a tough year for croppers in Australia this season and while threats of an El Niño are fading a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event, also correlated with below average rain, is a chance to form.

THERE was good news and bad news for farmers desperate for rain in the latest Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) report.

On the positive front climatic models used by the BOM suggested a lower chance of an El Niño developing late this year or early next year.

Only three of the eight models used predict an El Niño this year with a fourth forecasting it to form in early 2019.

This is a massive downgrade from the previous ENSO report where all the models used by BOM expected an El Niño to form.

However while the news regarding one climate driver was good, it was not so positive on another front.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) index has exceeded the positive IOD threshold (+0.4 °C) in the last fortnight.

While it will take several more weeks of similar values before a positive IOD event is considered established model outlooks currently suggest positive IOD values are likely to continue through the spring, before returning to neutral values in late November to December.

Positive IOD events can be more correlated with lower than average rainfall than El Niños in some parts of Australia.

In its report the BOM said its ENSO Outlook remain at El Niño watch, meaning there is a 50 per cent chance of it forming, around double the normal likelihood.

The story El Niño threat drops but IOD now positive first appeared on Farm Online.

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