The El Niño Southern Oscillation outlook has remained at the ‘watch’ stage, which means ENSO is currently neutral.
Vic Hub director Michael Tausz said updates from BOM provided the latest information on the likely effect of ENSO on Australia in the upcoming spring and summer.
“A neutral ENSO indicates around a 50 per cent chance of El Niño developing this year, which is in the region of double the normal likelihood,” Prof Tausz said.
“An El Niño watch is no guarantee that El Niño will actually occur, rather it signals that some of the typical signs are in place.
“The aim of issuing these regular outlook updates is to caution via a stepped approach based on incremental changes, rather than a sudden announcement.”
“ENSO is just one of various climate drivers that can influence Australia’s temperature and rainfall patterns.”
Vic Hub regional director Fiona Best said the current situation highlighted the critical investment and work of the Federal Government’s Future Drought Fund in preparing businesses and communities in regional Victoria.
“The climate driver updates help the community plan,” Ms Best said.
“We’ve monitored the updates published since mid-February, and we know that El Niño characteristically suppresses rainfall across Victoria during winter and spring,” she said.
Ms Best said that now was the best time for all farmers to put various elements of their operation ‘under a drought-resilience microscope’.
Ms Best said farmers had many resources to access to assist strong farm businesses to become drought prepared and drought resilient.
For more information on the Vic Hub and its work, visit: https://vicdroughthub.org.au
A drought resilience tool can be found at: http://drsat.com.au