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El Nino possibly developing later this year

Sam Burgess, Thursday January 9, 2014 - 17:00 EDT
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The sun sets in the drought-affected outback of South Australia - ABC

Farmers in Eastern Australia are being told to prepare for less rain in the second half of the year with early climate models suggesting a return to the El Nino weather pattern.

El Nino is often associated with drier than normal conditions across eastern and northern Australia.

Climate professor Roger Stone says it's still early days though and a more accurate prediction will emerge in late autumn.

"There's some hint from the US ocean models and the European Union ocean models which are are some of the best, that there's some potential for an El Nino developing around mid year and that could have an influence on our winter crop and into summer."

However, the Bureau of Meteorology's Queensland regional director, Rob Webb, maintains current indications tend to be pointing towards neutral conditions.

"Generally speaking it does look like the Pacific Ocean is going to warm but there's nothing at this stage to suggest it's going to slip over into what we call El Nino."

Mr Webb says forecasters will be watching number of factors over the coming months as a clearer picture becomes available.


© ABC 2014

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