There is roughly a 50% chance that Australia will experience El Niño in 2017, according to the latest El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Wrap-Up by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
BoM said that while all atmospheric and oceanic indicators of ENSO remain within neutral thresholds, the warming of sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean, as well as the climate model outlooks surveyed by the bureau, suggest a higher likelihood that El Niño will form this year.
Want the latest insurance industry news first? Sign up for our completely free newsletter service now.
Seven of eight models indicate steady warming in the central tropical Pacific Ocean over the next six months, with six models suggesting that El Niño thresholds may be reached by July.
In Australia, El Niño is often associated with below average winter-spring rainfall over eastern Australia and warmer than average winter-spring maximum temperatures over the country’s southern half.
BoM: Australia to maintain ENSO-neutral conditions
BoM: Extreme weather events mar 2016