Scientists have declared that conditions in the Pacific are indicating another El Nino event.

The coming dry conditions could mean that farmers already struggling with drought could face further pressure.

James Bullock reports.


After a near miss last year, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology have indicated that an El Nino is now on it’s way to Australia.

The conditions often mean that a short wet season is followed by dryer than usual conditions towards the end of the year.

Jeff Sabburg, Australian Bureau of Meteorology: “Basically during El Nino, that warm Pacific Water moves across South America, and when it does it you could say it shifts the clouds, and the rainfall with it, so you end up with dryer conditions and less rainfall in the Australian region, for example.”

El Nino’s have more often than not been associated with drought.

Jeff Sabburg, Australian Bureau of Meteorology: “Since 1900 we’ve had 26 El Nino’s in Australia, well 26 El Nino’s, and around half those have translated to drought in Queensland.”

It’s uncertain how long the effects of El Nino will last. Dry conditions may continue, putting further pressure on farmers already in the grip of drought.

AgForce reports around half of their registered farmers have had their profits halved in the last few years.

Dale Miller, AgForce: “A rough rule of thumb is that for each year of drought that producers experience, it takes two years to recover. So we’re looking at an eight year recovery period for those affected farmers.”

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts this latest El Nino is likely to be a moderate to strong event.

James Bullock, QUT News.