Climate Model Summary

Updated: Unavailable

Australian climate is influenced by temperature patterns in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This page provides information on Pacific and Indian Ocean outlooks for the coming six months based on a survey of international climate models. It is updated monthly.


Models near El Niño thresholds

Recent warming in the tropical Pacific Ocean has pushed model forecasts closer to El Niño thresholds. Most of the models surveyed forecast tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures to be close to, or exceeding, El Niño thresholds in December, with the average December outlook just over the +0.8 °C threshold.

The chances of 2014 being considered an El Niño year have increased over recent weeks due to atmospheric and oceanic observations in the tropical Pacific. By February 2015, two out of eight international climate models indicate temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean will exceed El Niño thresholds, with four additional models suggesting values close to El Niño thresholds. By April, these same two models persist at El Niño levels, with most other models remaining warm, but easing further into neutral territory.

Warmer central tropical Pacific waters late in the year typically result in warmer and drier weather for parts of eastern Australia, an increase in bushfire risk in the south, and average to below-average numbers of tropical cyclones in the Australian region.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral, following a brief negative phase during winter. The IOD has little influence on Australian climate during the summer months.

For more details on both ENSO and the IOD, please see the ENSO Wrap-Up.

Average of international model outlooks for NINO3.4

The average NINO3.4 value taken from 7 international models at a three month outlook
The average NINO3.4 value taken from 7 international models at a five month outlook
Graphs based on the ensemble mean for the most recent model run.

The arrows on the dials above indicate the combined average of monthly NINO3.4 outlooks from a survey of international global climate models. Note that the individual model runs vary around the average.

More information:

NINO3.4 outlook

The latest NINO3.4 forecasts (initialised in November) indicate the tropical Pacific Ocean is likely to be warmer than average over the coming months, with most models suggesting sea surface temperatures (SSTs) will be close to the threshold between neutral and El Niño for the remainder of 2014 and into early 2015. However, a transition to El Niño this late in the year would be considered unusual.

The most recent NINO3.4 value is +0.93 °C for the week ending 16 November 2014. Sustained NINO3.4 values above +0.8 °C indicate El Niño conditions.

The following graph shows the average forecast value of NINO3.4 for each international model surveyed for the selected calendar month. If the bars on the graph are approaching or exceeding the blue dashed line, there is an increased risk of La Niña. Similarly, if the bars on the graph are approaching or exceeding the red dashed line, there is an increased chance of El Niño.

NINO3.4 covers the central Pacific region.

NINO3.4 Outlook

Nino 3.4 2 month outlook Models information
Graphs based on the ensemble mean for the most recent model run.

Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) outlook

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral following a brief negative phase during winter. The latest weekly index value (to 16 November 2014) is +0.23 °C, with model outlooks indicating that the tropical Indian Ocean will remain in the neutral range for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015. The IOD has minimal influence on Australian climate during the summer months.

The following graph shows the average forecast value of the IOD index for each international model surveyed for the selected calendar month. If the majority of models are approaching or exceeding the blue dashed line, then there is an increased risk of a negative IOD event. If the majority of models are approaching or exceeding the red dashed line, then there is an increased risk of a positive IOD event.

IOD Outlook

These form controls display per month outlook graphs.

Latest POAMA IOD outlook Models information

Graphs based on the ensemble mean for the most recent model run.

Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA)

POAMA, run at the Bureau of Meteorology, generates an eight-monthly forecast each fortnight. The most recent model run (started on 16 November) predicts NINO3.4 is likely to remain near El Niño thresholds throughout the forecast period. The following forecast values (at the top of the table) are for the ensemble mean.

Month 2

NINO3.4 forecast value: Not available

Range Category Frequency distribution
below −0.8 °C: (Cool) Unavailable
  (Neutral) Unavailable
above +0.8 °C: (Warm) Unavailable

Month 4

NINO3.4 forecast value: Not available

Range Category Frequency distribution
below −0.8 °C: (Cool) Unavailable
  (Neutral) Unavailable
above +0.8 °C: (Warm) Unavailable

Month 6

NINO3.4 forecast value: Not available

Range Category Frequency distribution
below −0.8 °C: (Cool) Unavailable
  (Neutral) Unavailable
above +0.8 °C: (Warm) Unavailable

More information:

Model details

The models used within our survey are listed below with links to their agency homepages, model output and technical information about the model.

Agency/Source/Provider Latest
NINO3.4
Latest
IOD
Model Model run used in this survey:
BOM - Bureau of Meteorology View NINO3.4 data
View IOD data POAMA
Unavailable
Meteorological Service of Canada View NINO3.4 data (via IRI multi model plume) Unavailable CanSIPS Unavailable
ECMWF (EU) View NINO3.4 data Not public System4 Unavailable
JMA View NINO3.4 data Unavailable JMA/MRI-CGCM Unavailable
METEO-FRANCE View NINO3.4 data (via IRI multi model plume) Not public ARPEGE 1 April 2013
NASA - GMAO (USA) View NINO3.4 data
View IOD data GEOS5
1 April 2013
NOAA - NCEP (USA) View NINO3.4 data
Unavailable CFSv2 Unavailable
UKMO View NINO3.4 data Not public GloSea5 Unavailable

Product Code: IDCKGLM000

Next update expected Unavailable

Model data are provided for Bureau of Meteorology use by the agencies detailed in the Models section. Respective agency copyright applies to these data.