A warmer Indian Ocean could encourage rainfall

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The Bureau of Metrology (BOM) El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) report claims that there are record warm temperatures in the Indian Ocean, which are influencing Australia's climate. The outcome of this warming is not certain, though, as there are multiple scenarios being predicted by various weather models.

A top up for below-average rain systems

Victoria's Department of Economic Development's 'Seasonal Risk Agronomist' Dale Grey spoke with ABC about these patterns in an interview last December.

"All year the Indian Ocean as a whole has been warmer than normal and for the last couple of months now it's been warmest on record," Mr Grey said.

Mr. Grey explained that a warmer- than-usual tropical ocean must correlate to higher-than-usual amounts of evaporating moisture. This moisture can then turn into precipitation, but it can be hard to predict when and where. Additionally, the ENSO report is also predicting warmer-than-average temperatures to provide extra moisture for rain systems. These rain systems cross Australia in the southern autumn, and could provide a positive counter to the El Nino dryness the country is currently experiencing.

ENSO neutral

BOM reports from March 2016 are showing the Tropical Pacific Ocean is continuing towards an ENSO-neutral state. El Nino will likely be gone by mid-2016, however forecasts made at this time of year are lower in accuracy than those made at other times of the year, and thus should be considered only as a vague indication of further events.

An outcome of ENSO-neutral conditions combined with the warming of the Indian Ocean could mean some positive conditions for those in need of rainfall. Many business that rely on rainfall for their crops, as well as homeowners in rural communities affected by 2015/16's El Nino, will be hoping this anomaly will affect rain systems in the hardest-hit and driest regions. To capitalise on future rainfall, the installation of a quality polyethylene water tank would be wise. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help with your water storage solutions.

By Gerald Beckton

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