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A major El Nino has been declared by the Bureau of Meteorology. So... What exactly is an El Niño?
A major El Niño event which is likely to lead to prolonged drier, hotter conditions across much of eastern Australia, has been officially declared by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
So, what's an El Niño anyway?
El Niño events, which reoccur about every 3 to 4 years, impact weather conditions across the globe.
Typically, several areas in Indonesia and Australia are drier than normal during El Niño events, whereas parts of the southern United States are wetter than normal. The last event was in 2010 when large parts of Australia were affected by severe drought.
Still lost? This video will help you to figure just what we're dealing with.
The impacts of the event are likely to be felt until autumn next year and 17 of the last 26 El Niño events have resulted in widespread drought
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), have said: "El Niño is one of the largest influences on Australia's climate. It's why historically Australia has had one of the most variable climates on the planet."
The El Niño increases the chances of low rainfall in the country's southern and most populous half and tends to deliver hotter years and higher extreme temperatures. So, that means it could get even hotter if the El Niño fully develops.
El Niño and climate change
It is not yet clear how climate change will affect El Niño and La Niña. The events may get stronger, they may get weaker or they may change their behaviour in different ways.
The Conversation says: "Because climate change in general may decrease rainfall over southern Australia and increase potential evaporation (due to higher temperatures) then it would be reasonable to expect that the drought induced by El Niño events will be exacerbated by climate change."