What is El Niño? How will it affect our weather?
If an El Niño alert develops into a El Niño event, south-eastern Australia could face the risk of extreme heat and increased bushfire danger this summer.
Victorians can expect a higher chance of drier and warmer weather this winter, with reduced rainfall. The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued an El Niño alert, which signifies a 70 per cent chance of an El Niño event occurring this year.
An El Niño alert is part of a staged system which BoM uses to keep Australians informed about the increased risk of this weather pattern. The next level is called an El Niño event, which is declared if long-term changes in ocean temperatures and atmospheric conditions are confirmed.
But what is El Niño and what does it mean for the east coast of Australia and this year’s bushfire season?