The NINO3.4 index is one of several El Niño/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 Niño 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 Niño or La Niña event is identified if the 5-month running-average of the NINO3.4 index exceeds +0.4°C for El Niño or -0.4°C for La Niña for at least 6 consecutive months.
A well known Queensland stud cattle breeder says years of drought and the changing climate is why his family sold its Queensland property and relocated half their herd to King Island.
Farmers across of Australia have been forced to cut areas of their cereal crops for wheaten hay, despite the product's lack of appeal on international markets.
Parts of coastal QLD received their heaviest October rain in five years.