La Nina weakening, but influence still active: BOM

Beef Central, 15/02/2012

The La Nina has shown some signs of weakening over the past fortnight but is likely to continue influencing Australian weather patterns for another month or two yet, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The Bureau said yesterday that climate models showed a continued decline of La Niña, with a neutral ENSO state expected in the southern hemisphere autumn.

Over the past fortnight, sea surface temperatures had warmed across the tropical Pacific, most significantly over the central to eastern Pacific regions, associated with a brief easing of the trade winds.

Other indicators of La Niña, such as the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), and cloudiness over the equatorial Pacific Ocean had generally remained steady at La Niña levels. (Scroll down for SOI chart)

"The La Niña showed some signs of weakening over the past fortnight as the tropical Pacific Ocean warmed. However, La Niña remains in place and is likely to influence Australian climate over the coming months," the bureau's latest ENSO statement said. 

La Niña periods are usually associated with above normal rainfall and below normal daytime temperatures from winter through summer across eastern and northern Australia. 

Many districts throughout southern Queensland and northern New South Wales have received a wet summer approaching or exceeding record levels, while other areas, such as largte parts of central and northern areas of Queensland are rapidly drying off.

Where areas have received good rain over summer, it has often been patchy with totals varying substantially from property to property. 

South western Western Australia has received some food falls in recent weeks, while Victoria and South Australia are hoping for good rain this week. 

The SOI continued to drop over the past fortnight, but remains above La Nina thresholds.


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