The Australian Weather Bureau says the Pacific Ocean has warmed along the equator over recent weeks, a trend they expect will continue. The bureau says the likelihood of El Niño remains high, with all climate models surveyed indicating El Niño is likely to occur in 2014. Six of the seven models suggest El Niño thresholds may be exceeded as early as July.
"The Pacific Ocean has been warming along the equator over recent weeks, with continued warming in the central Pacific likely in coming months. Another burst of westerly winds is presently occurring in the western Pacific, and is likely to cause further warming of the subsurface," says the bureau. "El Niño has an impact across much of the world, including below average rainfall in the western Pacific and Indonesian regions, and increased rainfall in the central and eastern Pacific. For Australia, El Niño is usually associated with below-average rainfall, with about two-thirds of El Niño events since 1900 resulting in major drought over large areas of Australia."
If El Nino begins during the U.S. Midwest growing season, the likelihood of trend to above-trend yields is more likely, as El Nino is associated with favorable Midwest growing conditions.