Climate Model Summary

Increased chance of El Niño by spring

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral. International models suggest this is likely to continue through the southern autumn. All but one model indicates a steady warming in the central tropical Pacific Ocean over the next six months.  Five models suggest El Niño thresholds may be reached by July 2017; however, model accuracy at this time of year is generally low. Therefore ENSO-neutral and El Niño are, at this stage, considered possible, with La Niña very unlikely for the second half of 2017.

NINO3.4 outlook

The latest NINO3.4 outlooks (issued in February) indicate temperatures in the central tropical Pacific Ocean are likely to warm over the next six months. The average of all international models suggests the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) will remain neutral until at least the end of the southern autumn.

The most recent weekly NINO3.4 value to 12 February is −0.1 °C. By May, the all model average is +0.6 °C, indicating a consistent warming trend over the coming months. By July, five models exceed the El Niño threshold with a further two models falling just short. It must be noted that this outlook straddles the autumn predictability barrier - typically the ENSO transition period - during which most models have their lowest forecast accuracy. Thus, outlooks beyond May should be used with caution.

The Bureau routinely monitors oceanic and atmospheric conditions and model outlooks. NINO3.4 values that persist below −0.8 °C typically indicate a La Niña event has become established, while persistent values above +0.8 °C typically indicate El Niño.

Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) outlook

The latest weekly IOD index value to 12 February is +0.3 °C, which lies within the neutral range. The IOD is typically unable to form between December and April, while the monsoon trough is active in the southern hemisphere. The IOD has little impact on Australian climate at this time of year.

Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA)

POAMA, run at the Bureau of Meteorology, generates a nine-month forecast each fortnight. The most recent model run (generated 12 February) indicates NINO3.4 will warm gradually during the outlook period and shows an increased chance of exceeding El Niño thresholds in late winter to early spring. However, this forecast straddles the autumn predictability barrier, meaning forecast skill beyond autumn is low.

The forecast values, shown below in bold, are for POAMA's ensemble mean.

Product code: IDCKGL0000

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.

Further details: ENSO Wrap-Up (ENSO and IOD); Climate Outlooks

Average of international model outlooks for NINO3.4

Average of international model outlooks for the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)

Based on the ensemble mean for the most recent model run.

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

More information:

NINO3.4 covers the central Pacific region.

Graphs

Nino 3.4 2 month outlook Models information
Graph details

The graphs are based on the ensemble mean for the most recent model run.

These graphs show 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.

Graphs

Latest POAMA IOD outlook Models information
Graph details

The graphs are based on the ensemble mean for the most recent model run.

Thse graphs show 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.

POAMA Long-Range Outlook

Issued 12 February 2017

Updated fortnightly

These model forecasts of the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are generated by the Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA), a dynamical computer model of the climate system run at the Bureau of Meteorology. They are included in the monthly model summary of predictions from POAMA and other models operated by international organisations.

POAMA outlooks provide forecasts out to nine months ahead. The model ensemble distributions shown here provide a range of possible developments in sea surface temperature (SST) in the equatorial Pacific Ocean (NINO regions) and for the Indian Ocean.

NINO34 predictions for the next 9 months.

Skip to past graph to table of values

Outlook graph for selected indice

NINO34 probabilities

Click dates in the first row to see probability graphs
Outlook for month
NINO34 (°C) 0.18 0.28 0.43 0.53 0.72 0.81 0.88
Model cool frequency (<−0.8°C) 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Model neutral frequency 100% 100% 93.94% 75.75% 51.51% 42.42% 48.48%
Model warm frequency (>+0.8°C) 0% 0% 6.06% 24.24% 48.48% 57.57% 51.51%

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.

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