You May, Or May Not, Have Something to Worry About: ABC

29 August 2023

2.6 MINS

Broadcaster ramps up the climate scare.

The weather armageddon continues, with the ABC breathlessly warning that Australia is heading for a hot and dry summer which may or may not involve bushfires that may or may not be worse than the ones we saw a few years ago.

The article, headlined:

“A positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) plus El Niño in Australia likely to cause hot and dry weather”

… begins with this prescient forecast:

While El Niño dominates the headlines, a lesser-known climate influence is rapidly forming to our west, and is likely to bring hot and dry weather to Australia for the remainder of the year.

So the ABC is saying it’s going to get warmer as we move into spring and summer. Okay.

A positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is the Indian Ocean’s version of El Niño, and typically brings reduced rainfall and an increase in temperatures through winter and spring.

It does tend to get warmer and drier as you move through winter into spring. Remind me again, how much are we paying for the ABC?

The index used to monitor the Indian Ocean surged to 0.79 last week, the highest value in four years, which is nearly double the threshold for a positive phase. If values above 0.4 are sustained for eight weeks, as predicted by all modelling, then 2023 becomes a positive IOD year, the first since 2019.

The highest value in… four years?! Oh dear! That’s, like, four years ago.

If four years doesn’t seem like a long time ago, consider that the ABC can’t wait eight weeks to see if the “surge” is “sustained” as “predicted by the modelling” before reporting the worst result since (drum roll) 2019!

Although eight weeks is required for a fully-fledged event, the drying impact has most likely already commenced, and it’s no surprise the majority of Australia has no rain on the forecast during the coming week.

So eight weeks is required for a fully-fledged event, but the ABC is going early and calling it after one week. It’s science.

But here’s the big news… there may be no rain this week. And that may or may not be due to the drying impact of an event that may or may not occur.

The last positive IOD four years ago was one of the major influences behind the Black Summer bushfires. Although there is no indication this fire season will be as severe, bushfires will almost certainly be more active than the last three years.

Did you get that?

The last positive IOD was responsible for horrific fires, but there’s no indication that a positive IOD this year — if it happens — will cause horrific fires. Fires this summer will likely be worse than fires during the previous three summers, although we can’t be certain of that either.

The opposite phase, a negative IOD, played a major role in the widespread flooding through the spring of both 2021 and 2022.


So if the IOD is negative rather than positive, then we’ll have floods rather than fires.

As that renowned ABC weather forecaster Dorothea McKeller said during a recent 7pm news broadcast, “drought and flooding rains”.

Now admittedly, none of this sounds particularly scary. But that’s because you’ve not heard the really big news yet.

The ABC is reporting that we may or may not this year experience El Niño AND a positive IOD event at the same time!

If this occurs, it would make 2023 the first year with an El Niño, and an IOD, in eight years.

Brace yourselves:

While the 2015 duo did not lead to widespread major drought in 2006 and 1982, when both weather events coincided, some of the worst droughts were recorded.

That’s right. Widespread major drought might but, then again, might not occur this year.

So there may, or may not, be something to worry about. You’ve been warned.


Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

Subscribe to his Substack here for daily witty commentary.
Photo by Black Light Media.

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