El Niño and Positive IOD declared – What might that look like?

Kite Feedlot Team

October 3, 2023

Tips for the Summer

An El Niño was officially announced by the Bureau of Meteorology on 19 September 2023 for the first time in eight years. BOM also announced the development of a lesser known, but also significant, climate driver known as a “positive” Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). This has received less of the media attention but will be an important driver for the coming few months.

We have all heard what El Niño conditions hold for us (hot, dry, less cyclones) but what about the combined effect of an El Niño and Positive IOD? The Bureau states that

“When a positive IOD and El Niño occur together, their drying effect is typically stronger and more widespread across Australia.”

We have gone back over the records and identified when these conditions have previously occurred over the last 30 years. We found that similar conditions occurred in the early 90s, 1997 and spring of 2014.

The spring of 2014 was the hottest on record and the summer saw many severe heat waves.

The charts above show the rain and temperature for October – December for the historical periods with El Niño and Positive IOD.

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