Monday, November 14, 2011

Sea Surface Temperatures around Australia remain elevated, La Niña builds slowly

The Sea Surface temperature Anomaly around Australia in November 2011 remains elevated. A slow cooling in the tropical mid Pacific indicates that La Niña is also slowly building. A persistently warm Indian Ocean is also a main driver for forecast wetter conditions in Australia this summer.

The forecast is for a La Niña weaker than the 2010 one, which was one of the strongest on record. Sea Surface temperatures were also hhigh for last year and remain high for this year.

"Forecast models surveyed by the Bureau suggest the event is likely to peak towards the end of 2011, and persist into early 2012. It is considered unlikely that the current La Niña will be as strong as the La Niña event of 2010-11." records the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in it's update published on 9 November 2011.

The forecast for Australia of a wetter summer is more likely over large parts of northern, eastern and southwest Australia. During October overnight temperatures were warmer than normal, but maximum temperatures were close to normal. Rainfall was substantially higher than usual across much of the western and northern regions of Australia.

More Tropical cyclones are being predicted this season. "Tropical cyclone activity in the Australian region (5°S-40°S, 90°E-160°E) is likely to be above average this coming season. The outlook suggests a 80% chance of having more than the long-term average number of cyclones in the Australian region during the 2011-12 season." says the Bureau of Meteorology. The average is 12 cyclones per season.

Let us hope we don't experience another Cyclone Yasi, although with climate change we increase our odds of experiencing extreme weather events.