La Niña to El Niño and what that means for next summer.
We are coming to the end of La Niña (the wet and cool phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation ENSO). What does that mean For Australia? Well, we can say goodbye to a wet summer and expect a hotter summer coming around the corner this year. If you’ve forgotten what happened in the last El Niño phase we’ll give you a little refresh: high temperatures, bush fires and not much rain. So it is imperative that preparing for the next El Niño is necessary to minimize risks and spread awareness.
After almost two years of non-stop #LaNiña, the tropical Pacific ocean-atmosphere system has transitioned to neutral state. This does not mean that a hot dry El Niño weather pattern will be here straight away, it will most likely stay neutral through winter, with the change noticeably starting to happen at the end of spring coming into full effect next year. A return to near-normal ENSO conditions is predicted for the equatorial central and eastern Pacific, and warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures are generally predicted over other oceanic regions. This contributes to widespread prediction of above-normal temperatures over land areas, according to the GSCU.
Even though La Niña is coming to an end we are likely to see latent impacts for some time to come and therefore some of the canonical rainfall impacts of La Niña may still continue. The lingering impacts of multi-year La Niña is basically due to its long duration, and continuous circulation anomaly, which are different from the single-peak La Niña event.
El Niña and El Niño are seasonal phenomena, so they will change, we won’t be stuck with one forever. This article is not to induce panic but rather to inform so that we can prepare for what is coming. Preparation for a El Nino pattern starting now will involve things like fire mitigation, making sure water supply can meet demand and building climate resilience. Our HeatFit program has been designed for industrial business that take a beating through summer and implements systems that help keep teams thermally safe and hydrated in extreme circumstances. If you’d like to learn more about Heatfit click here.
The forecaster consensus is very confident that neutral conditions will remain through winter, which means the tropical Pacific Ocean, will be reprieved from the media and hopefully climate disasters. Climate models indicate an increased chance of El Niño, around 60%, by mid to end of spring.
The reason why we care so much about El Niño and La Niña is that they can often be predicted months in advance, meaning we can get an early idea of some of our potential seasonal climate conditions and prepare as best we can. However, like anything involved with forecasting, it can change and shouldn’t be taken as a definite. Early warning saves lives, remember our motto is; Prepare, perform & recover.