Thursday, 19 June 2014

Watching the weather with bated breath......

Photograph: Queensland Country Life 24 January 2014

The world’s meteorologists and climate experts are watching closely for another burst of westerly winds across the Pacific that could trigger the first El Nino weather pattern since 2009-2010.

“Basically it is primed for a strong El Nino, but it needs the final push,” said Axel Timmermann, the professor of oceanography at the international Pacific research centre, University of Hawaii. “This is perhaps the most-watched El Nino of all time.”

The weather watch comes as winter remains largely at bay for much of Australia. Sydney and Melbourne broke heat records during autumn and maximums in both cities have been about 2-3 degrees above average for June.

This week, Sydney can expect tops most days of 20-22 degrees, or about 3-5 degrees above normal, while Melbourne's maximums will be 1-2 degrees above the June average of 14 degrees, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

An El Nino could make this year another warm one for Australia. Last year was the country's warmest in more than a century of records.

El Ninos form when waters in the eastern Pacific turn unusually warm compared with the west, stalling or reversing the easterly trade winds. The pattern is a major driver of the world’s climate and can trigger droughts and bushfires in Australia and east Asia, while bringing heavy rains to countries bordering the eastern Pacific……

National Climate Centre Drought Statement 4 June 2014

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