The NINO3.4 index is one of several El Niņo/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators based on sea surface temperatures.
NINO3.4 is the average sea surface temperature anomaly in the region bounded by 5°N to 5°S, from 170°W to 120°W. This region has large variability on El Niņo time scales, and is close to the region where changes in local sea-surface temperature are important for shifting the large region of rainfall typically located in the far western Pacific.
An El Niņo or La Niņa event is identified if the 5-month running-average of the NINO3.4 index exceeds +0.4°C for El Niņo or -0.4°C for La Niņa for at least 6 consecutive months.
As the southern hemisphere dives into the heart of winter, the tropical waters of the Solomon Islands have been brewing up a storm.
A western Queensland family has been overwhelmed by the generosity of a stranger who volunteered to help on a drought-stricken station.
Queensland forecasters have named Raquel as their first ever recorded July cyclone, which has formed this morning north of the Solomon Islands.