2011-12 La Nina runs out of puff

Beef Central, 28/03/2012

The 2011–12 La Niña event has officially ended, with key indicators returning to neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña) levels, the Bureau of Meteorology announced yesterday.

Climate models suggest that neutral conditions will persist until at least early winter, the bureau said.

“Key Pacific Ocean indicators are now at neutral levels, with values similar to those last seen in August 2011.

“Likewise, atmospheric indicators such as cloudiness, trade winds and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) have also returned to near-normal values for this time of year.

Despite the 2011–12 La Niña not commencing until far later than normal (spring), the decline had been fairly typical of past events, with a peak in January and a return to neutral conditions during autumn.

The demise of the La Niña did not mean the risk of wet conditions (or tropical cyclones) over Australia had ended, the bureau said.

“While sea surface temperatures around the continent remain warmer than normal and the tropical wet season is active, there remains a risk of above average rainfall over Australia.” 


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