Ag Weather Forum

El Nino Seen as Continuing to Slowly Weaken by Australia Bureau of Meteorology

Bryce Anderson
By  Bryce Anderson , Ag Meteorologist Emeritus
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Pacific Ocean temperatures around the equator continued to show El Nino levels of 1 to 2 degrees Celsius above normal during January. (NOAA graphic)

A recent commentary on Pacific Ocean conditions posted by the Australia Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and dated Jan. 23 noted that El Nino conditions are still around in the Pacific Ocean, with no sign of a weakening earlier than has been forecasted during the past several months by weather and climate agencies around the world.

In the words of the BOM commentary: "El Nino continues in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Model forecasts and observations indicate sea surface temperatures in the central tropical Pacific have peaked and are now declining. Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are expected to return to neutral El Nino -- Southern Oscillation (ENSO) levels in the Southern Hemisphere autumn 2024." (Southern Hemisphere autumn occurs in March, April and May when spring occurs in the Northern Hemisphere.)

The Australia BOM comment also offers this perspective on the recent increase in the atmospheric Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) jump to values that approach La Nina levels. "Some atmospheric indicators, such as cloudiness near the Date Line, are close to normal levels," the commentary said. "The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has recently increased. The SOI tends to be more volatile during the northern Australian wet season as transient tropical systems can influence the 30-day SOI."

SOI values at the end of January show the index backing away from its run to La Nina levels during the middle of the month. The Jan. 30 SOI readings were either in neutral or El Nino category. They were: 30-day average at plus 4.81 (ENSO neutral); 90-day average at minus 2.50 (ENSO neutral); and the daily reading at minus 18.04 (El Nino).

The Australia BOM discussion also noted that the average forecast from global climate agency models for the primary El Nino-La Nina region in the Pacific Ocean calls for Pacific sea surface temperatures to move into a weak neutral category by April (0.8 degrees Celsius above normal) and solidly neutral by June (0.1 degrees C below normal).

Full details on the BOM ENSO discussion are available here: http://www.bom.gov.au/…

Bryce Anderson can be reached at Bryce.Anderson@dtn.com

Bryce Anderson

Bryce Anderson
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