Recent warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean has primed the Pacific for El Niño. However, history has shown El Niño does not always develop from the ocean trends currently observed.
International climate models monitored by the Bureau indicate the central tropical Pacific Ocean is likely to continue to warm, with all models predicting El Niño thresholds will be reached or exceeded by mid-year. However, the accuracy of model outlooks at this time of year, the traditional El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) transition period, is lower than for outlooks made at other times of the year. Hence, some caution should be exercised when using model outlooks to predict the likelihood of El Niño.