Seasonal climate summary southern hemisphere
Seasonal climate summary southern hemisphere (spring 2012): Warmer and drier across much of Australia, along with a new southern hemisphere sea ice extent record
Atmospheric, oceanic and sea ice conditions in the southern hemisphere are reviewed for the austral spring of 2012, with emphasis given to the Pacific Basin climate indicators and Australian rainfall and temperature patterns. The Pacific basin saw a return to neutral ENSO conditions, with slightly warmer than normal equatorial SSTs just east of the date line and neutral SOI and multivariate ENSO indices. The Australian rainfall pattern was indicative of a positive Indian Ocean Dipole, with much of South Australia and other eastern Australian States experiencing much drier than normal conditions. Much of Western Australia, however, had a wetter than normal spring. November 2012 saw much of Australia’s east and south experience one of the most significant spring heatwaves on record which, together with the dry conditions, would leave this area of the continent vulnerable to summer bushfires. Particularly strong cyclonic activity in the Ross Sea and off Queen Maud Land saw southern hemisphere sea ice reach a new record extent in September 2012 of approximately 19.45 million km2.