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.
Tasmania woke to a cold and frosty morning with road weather alerts issued for some areas due to icy conditions and there are more cold mornings to come.
Parts of eastern Australia are facing an increased threat of bushfires this summer and authorities are gearing up for possibly significant forest fires.
Maranoa MP Bruce Scott says some farmers are not claiming the Farm Household Allowance because they are reluctant to go into a Centrelink office.