BoM: Unprecedented conditions impede El Niño

by | Aug 2, 2023 | Australia, Weather

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) expects an El Niño development in coming weeks, although lack of an atmospheric response to record sea temperatures is impeding an “official” declaration. “Historically, we haven’t seen a situation like this before, where we’re going into an El Niño event with record global ocean temperatures,” says BoM climate services national manager Dr Karl Braganza. He expected temperature to continue warming now until mid-next year. The long-range outlook to October is for warmer and drier conditions and has been consistent for a few months. July was the hottest month on record globally, and for Tasmania, with many southern capitals recording temperatures well above average.

Dr Braganza noted sea ice is at its lowest extent for this time of year ever, going from the satellite record back to the late 1970s and is growing at a slower rate, impacting the southern hemisphere’s climate system. This is mostly because the atmosphere hasn’t quire coupled or reinforced the typical El Niño pattern in the ocean. The BoM will await those conditions to lock in before declaring and El Niño event.