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.


Tropical Pacific Ocean likely to remain near El Niño thresholds over summer

The tropical Pacific Ocean remains warm, with surface temperatures exceeding El Niño thresholds for several weeks now. However atmospheric indicators of El Niño, such as the trade winds, cloudiness and tropical rainfall, are yet to show widespread and sustained patterns consistent with El Niño.

Most of the surveyed models forecast tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures to remain near, or just above, El Niño thresholds in January. Most models indicate NINO3.4 will peak at its maximum temperature in the coming months and then begin to cool. However, all models predict NINO3.4 will still be on the warm side of neutral in May 2015.

Two models indicate El Niño thresholds will continue to be exceeded in May 2015. Model forecasts spanning the autumn months tend to have reduced accuracy than at other times of the year and should therefore be treated with caution.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has no observed impact on Australian climate from December to April due to the natural position of the monsoon trough at this time of year.

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 December) 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, or above, the El Niño threshold for the remainder of the 2014-15 summer. A transition to El Niño this late in the year would be considered unusual.

Two models suggest SSTs will continue to exceed El Niño thresholds until at least May, however, model forecasts spanning the autumn months tend to have reduced accuracy than at other times of the year and should therefore be treated with caution.

The most recent NINO3.4 value is +0.9 °C for the week ending 14 December 2014. Sustained NINO3.4 values above +0.8 °C can indicate El Niño conditions. NINO3.4 has been above this threshold for five weeks now. In this situation, the atmosphere is yet to show a widespread and consistent El Niño signal.

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. The IOD does not impact on Australian climate from December to April. This is due to the monsoon trough moving southwards over the regions of ocean where the IOD pattern occurs. This alters the wind patterns, and results in the IOD pattern being unable to form during these 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-month forecast each fortnight. The most recent model run (started on 14 December) predicts NINO3.4 is likely to drop just below El Niño thresholds in January, with a gradual cooling throughout the forecast period although remaining warmer than normal. The following forecast values (at the top of the table) are for POAMA's 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.