Australia is on El Nino watch.
Australia is on El Nino watch. Contributed

El Nino could be on the way to bring in a dry winter

GYMPIE region farmers could already be in for another dry spell this year, following a difficult summer.

There is a 50% chance that an El Niño will form this year; that is double the normal likelihood.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Jeff Sabburg said an El Niño system would bring with it hotter conditions and less rain.

"We have criteria points on our El Niño watch, which we have based on historical events,” he said.

"Queensland typically receives less rain on El Niño years.”

Australia is on El Nino watch.
Australia is on El Nino watch. Contributed

The sea surface of Pacific Ocean has warmed and that warmth has been spreading west in the past few months.

El Niño is often associated with below average winter-spring rainfall over eastern Australia and warmer than average winter-spring maximum temperatures over the southern half of Australia.

Of the 27 El Niño events since 1900, 18 have resulted in widespread dry conditions for Australia.

Two key models are used to predict the weather trend.

Anrew Gosbell stading in his dam where he has never seen it this dry.
Anrew Gosbell stading in his dam where he has never seen it this dry. Bambi Gosbell

Firstly, meteorologists measure sea surface temperature in a section of the Pacific and record how warm it is relative to normal.

If it is more than 0.8°C above average in this specific section of ocean, that indicates an El Niño pattern is likely.

Though the potential El Niño could be some time away, focusing on the immediate future, BOM forecaster Sean Fitzgerald said we could see some showers this weekend in the Gympie region.

Gympie Times


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