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.
Water is flowing into outback Lake Eyre, but somewhat differently from past flooding of the remote saltpan, travel guide Rex Ellis says.
A strong and complex low is moving over New Zealand and has been generating heavy rain, isolated thunderstorms and gale force winds.
The sunrise this morning likely made the ancient sandstone formation of Uluru glow a glorious red at dawn, although cloud and rain from today should lead to more demure morning displays for the next couple of days.