El Nino could be on the way to bring in a dry winter

FRASER Coast farmers could already be in for another dry spell this year, following a difficult summer.

There is a 50% chance that an El Niño will form this year; that is double the normal likelihood.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Jeff Sabburg said an El Niño system would bring with it hotter conditions and less rain.

"We have criteria points on our El Niño watch, which we have based on historical events," he said.

"Queensland typically receives less rain on El Niño years."

The sea surface of Pacific Ocean has warmed and that warmth has been spreading west in the past few months.

El Niño is often associated with below average winter-spring rainfall over eastern Australia and warmer than average winter-spring maximum temperatures over the southern half of Australia.

Two key models are used to predict the weather trend.

Firstly, meteorologists measure sea surface temperature in a section of the Pacific and record how warm it is relative to normal.

If it is more than 0.8°C above average in this specific section of ocean, that indicates an El Niño pattern is likely.

Though the potential El Niño could be some time away, focusing on the immediate future, BOM forecaster Dean Narramore said showers were predicted for the Fraser Coast region.

"It will be showering on and off every day for the next week," he said.

"More showers will be felt near the coast."

Topics:  fcweather fraser coast

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