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El Nino still on track but coming later

Cath McAloon, Wednesday June 18, 2014 - 10:08 EST
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The weather bureau says an El Nino, which brings drier conditions to eastern Australia, is likely to develop in spring. - ABC

The weather bureau says an El Nino weather system is now expected to develop in spring, rather than winter as they'd previously forecast.

The latest climate modelling shows warming in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which defines El Nino activity, has levelled off in recent weeks.

But the weather bureau's manager of climate prediction services, Andrew Watkins, says there's still a 70 per cent likelihood of an El Nino, bringing drier conditions to eastern Australia, this year.

"About half of the models are suggesting an event in place by late winter, early spring, but then the majority of the models say it will be in place sometime later on during the spring," Dr Watkins said.

"The odds sticking at about 70 per cent for an El Nino developing in 2014 hasn't really changed, it's just that things may occur a little later than normal.

"That doesn't necessarily mean that the impacts will come a lot later than normal, we still have been seeing some relatively dry and warm conditions in eastern Australia.


© ABC 2014

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