Drought conditions likely to continue in Australia

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Sydney, Aug 30 (IANS) Australia’s national weather agency, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), has predicted that the drought conditions in the country will continue.

In its 2018 Spring Outlook released on Thursday, BoM has forecast warmer and drier than average conditions for the Spring season, which for the southern hemisphere begins next month, coming after what was nationally one of the hottest winters ever, Xinhua news agency reported.

For many Australian farmers already suffering years of drought, this is not good news.

“Like all Australians, all of us at the BoM are hoping those affected by the drought will get the rain they need soon,” BoM manager of long range forecasting Andrew Watkins said.

“Unfortunately, our outlooks show odds favouring a drier and warmer than average spring for many areas,” he added.

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Scientists are watching one of Australia’s main climate drivers, the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which is currently in a neutral phase but which they have graded as having a 50 percent chance of forming – roughly double the normal amount.

“Traditionally El Nino events result in warmer and drier than average conditions across Eastern Australia,” Watkins said.

–IANS

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