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El Niño Officially Announced: Australia Faces Extended Period of Warm and Dry Weather

El Niño Officially Announced: Australia Faces Extended Period of Warm and Dry Weather

The Bureau of Meteorology has formally declared that El Niño and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are currently in progress. Already, forecasts have indicated warmer and drier conditions for parts of Australia during the upcoming spring and summer. These forecasts remain unchanged despite the confirmation of El Niño and a positive IOD.

El Niño 

This declaration comes two months following the World Meteorological Organisation’s announcement of an ongoing El Niño, which has heightened the likelihood of record-breaking global temperatures. The Bureau of Meteorology has been on an El Niño alert since May, indicating a 70 percent probability of the system emerging by summer. However, the official announcement was delayed until September 19 due to specific conditions not yet being met.

Australia is already experiencing extreme conditions in certain regions, with an extended period of warm and dry weather marking the beginning of spring. As of September 19, there were 61 active fires across New South Wales (NSW). The Bureau has cautioned of an elevated risk of fires and extreme heat throughout the upcoming summer.

Indian Ocean Dipole

On the same day, the Bureau also declared the presence of a positive Indian Ocean Dipole, which can divert rainfall away from Australia, increasing the likelihood of a drier-than-usual spring and summer. When a positive Indian Ocean Dipole and El Niño occur concurrently, their combined drying effect typically becomes more pronounced and widespread across Australia. 

The Bureau has indicated that global heat is expected to persist until at least the middle of 2024, while an El Niño event typically dissipates in early autumn.

Plan Ahead

Severe fire dangers are anticipated in the Greater Sydney and Greater Hunter regions in the coming days. A spokesperson for the Bureau of Meteorology urged individuals and communities to prepare for a summer marked by heat and fire hazards.

Brini Wines