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.
Prolonged heatwave conditions are helping elevate the bushfire threat in parts of New South Wales this week, after a slow start to the season.
A four-day heatwave that begins on Wednesday will bring the same kind of conditions that saw more than 200 Queenslanders treated for heat stroke and dehydration last week.
A Queensland MP is calling on the major banks to develop offsetting options for farm management deposits to help landholders save in the good times.