ENSO Wrap-Up

The Bureau of Meteorology released its latest ENSO Wrap-Up on 19 March 2019. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Outlook has moved to El Niño ALERT. El Niño typically results in below average rainfall for southern Australia in autumn, and in spring and winter for eastern Australia, and warmer days across southern Australia.

Most international climate models suggest sea surface temperatures in the central tropical Pacific Ocean are likely to remain at El Niño levels into winter. However, current outlooks have are less reliable for the period beyond May, and therefore predictions for the latter months should be viewed with some caution.

An El Niño ALERT means there is around a 70% chance of El Niño developing in autumn. El Niño ALERT is not a guarantee that El Niño will occur; it is an indication that most typical precursors of an event are in place.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral. Current outlooks suggest the IOD is likely to remain neutral for the remainder of autumn, but indicate a positive IOD may form later in winter. A positive IOD typically means drier than average conditions for southern and central Australia during winter-spring.

For Enso Wrap-Ups visit the Bureau's Enso Wrap-Up Archive.

Climate outlook

The Bureau of Meteorology released its latest April to June 2019 climate outlook on 28 March 2019. The Outlook shows no strong indication either way towards a wetter or drier than average three months ahead. The chance of April to June rainfall being above median is close to 50% across the country, meaning there is no indication that the coming three months will be significantly wetter or drier than average. (Figure 2).

Both days and nights are likely to be warmer than average. The main climate drivers for Australia (e.g., El Niño/La Niña and the Indian Ocean Dipole) are neutral, which is why the rainfall outlook is not showing a tendency towards a wetter or drier than average three months ahead (i.e., close to a 50% chance of exceeding median). However, the Bureau's climate model suggests there is a chance El Niño will develop in autumn. If El Niño does develop, it would increase the chances of drier conditions in the south and east.

To view current and previous seasonal climate outlooks visit the Bureau of Meteorology Seasonal Climate Outlook Archive.

March 2019 climate outlook