AussieMark wrote:CURRENT STATUS as at 31st January 2007
Next update expected by 21st February 2007 (three weeks after this update).
There has been a sustained cooling of the equatorial Pacific since early December, with current SST anomalies now close to their El Niño thresholds. This is the clearest sign that the El Niño event is weakening and it bodes well for a switch towards average or wetter than average conditions across eastern Australia sometime in the late summer or autumn. In fact, we've already seen a southward extension of tropical moisture which resulted in heavy rain over the NT, SA and the western parts of Queensland, NSW and Victoria. This can be taken as a sign that rainfall patterns are beginning to change across Australia, the timing of which is consistent with that observed during previous events.
In addition to the surface cooling, there has been substantial cooling below the surface; a situation that is likely to promote further weakening of the surface El Niño pattern. However, the SOI, Trade Winds and central-western Pacific cloudiness have seen their decline towards neutral values arrested somewhat during January, in association with a westerly wind burst mid-month. The westerly burst has now dissipated, so it is expected that these other ENSO indicators will continue their general trend towards neutrality over the coming months, in keeping with the weakening of the El Niño event. Furthermore, computer modelling supports the view that the El Niño will continue to decline.
* Equatorial Pacific SSTs have cooled and are close to or below El Niño thresholds.
* Negative subsurface anomalies have strengthened and spread further east along the thermocline and have nearly reached the surface in the eastern Pacific.
* The SOI has a current (29th January) 30-day value of −9.
* Trade Winds have generally been somewhat stronger than average apart from a weakening in the central-west Pacific in the middle of the month.
* Cloudiness near the date-line has recently been above average.
* Most computer models predict the decay of El Niño conditions in the first half of 2007.
Almost getting to Neutral conditions right now according to the Aussies.