Sea surface temperature anomalies for the tropical Pacific. Notice the cool anomaly starting to appear off the South American coastline, and the near average temperatures across the tropics.

By Claire

Just when it seemed like the rain would never stop, the La Nina event responsible for the recent rain across eastern Australia reaches its end.

Observations of sea surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific show a return to ‘neutral’ conditions, or average conditions. It is when conditions depart from this mean state that we are considered in an El Nino or La Nina. During neutral conditions, upwelling of cool waters occurs off the west coast of South America, and warm ocean waters ‘slosh’ back across the tropical Pacific.

Current model predictions indicate that neutral conditions will likely persist until at least the end of the year. At this stage, there is no indication of the climate moving back into a La Nina event in the short-term.

Unfortunately, while the warm waters remain off the Queensland coast, there will still be the possibility of above average rainfall, so don’t put away those umbrellas just yet!