The Australian Weather Bureau says climate indicators are nearing the El Nino threshold, although some have eased. The bureau still expects El Nino to develop during the late Southern Hemisphere winter or spring.
"All dynamical models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology suggest that sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific will continue to warm, approaching or exceeding El Nino thresholds during the latter half of the austral winter or possibly spring 2012. However, results from individual models continue to show a moderate to high level of spread in their forecasts, meaning there remains a reasonable level of uncertainty in this outlook," it states. "Climatologists will continue to monitor conditions and outlooks closely for any further developments over the coming months."
During El Nino events, large parts of eastern Australia are typically drier-than-normal during winter and spring, while southern Australian daytime temperatures tend to be warmer. However, El Nino does not guarantee widespread dry conditions, says the bureau.