Indian Ocean Dipole Outlook: Possible Negative Phase by July

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An emerging negative Indian Ocean Dipole for JUL/AUG is (now) forecast by the Australia Bureau of Meteorology. -IOD favors a wetter winter climate pattern across Australia likely easing any remaining drought across the continent.

Fig. 1: Australia Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting negative Indian Ocean Dipole for southern hemisphere winter.

Discussion: The combination of a strong positive phase Indian Ocean Dipole and borderline weak El Nino late last year was the catalyst for the late 2019/early 2020 flash drought occurring across much of Australia which accelerated an early fire season. Just-the-opposite pattern is ahead for southern hemisphere winter. The Australia Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting –IOD to develop by July (Fig. 1) and coupled with weak La Nina later this year (Fig. 2) a wet pattern across Western and Southern Australia is likely (Fig. 3) also ending any long-term drought  across the continent.

Fig. 2: Australia Bureau of Meteorology ENSO phase forecast reveals a possible La Nina for late southern hemisphere winter.

Fig. 3: Schematic of how the negative Indian Ocean Dipole affects Australian climate.