Dry hot winter ahead: BOM officially declares El Niño
THE Australian Bureau of Meteorology has officially declared an El Niño in the tropical Pacific.
But what does this mean for Australia?
Typically during El Niño, much of eastern Australia experiences a prolonged drier, hotter winter.
An El Niño can last between three to five months and many in the past have caused widespread drought.
However, the weather bureau says the current May to July outlook suggests much of Australia is likely to be wetter than average because of a warmer-than-average Indian Ocean.
The El Niño is expected to become the dominant influence on Australia climate during the second half of the year.