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.
Another seven Queensland regions have been drought declared, including Townsville and the Burdekin region, which are in the usually wet areas of north Queensland.
They may be far from home, but a group of Americans have gathered in Western Australia's Pilbara region to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Another hot day is making its mark across eastern NSW as northwesterly winds ahead of a trough drag a hot airmass from Australia's interior towards the coast.