Climatologist Dave McRae said there is strong evidence the El Nino is breaking.
Climatologist Dave McRae said there is strong evidence the El Nino is breaking. John Towells

Things to get cold and wet with El Nino breaking down

CHANGES are in the air, with the strong El Nino event breaking down.

Climatologist Dave McRae from the International Centre for Applied Climate Sciences at the University of Southern Queensland said we had experienced a classic El Nino.

"The good news is there are clear signs the big strong El Nino is breaking down," he said.

He said while there were some indicators that there was potential for a La Nina event, there was no way to determine that for certain just yet. The El Nino, which has been in effect since about April last year, meant things like warmer than normal water temperature, greater evaporation and more low pressure systems.

While its counterpart La Nina means things like cooler water temperatures and wet weather.

Mr McRae explained the key driver for the climate for most of eastern Australian was what happened in the Pacific Ocean.

Key indicators that the El Nino was breaking down were the sea surface temperature in the central Pacific which is at +1°C warmer than normal and cooler than normal sub-surface temperatures.

Mr McRae said another key indicator was the Southern Oscillation Index values (which give an indication of the development and intensity of El Nino or La Nina events in the Pacific Ocean) close to -7°C (up from -19°C at the end of February).


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