El Niño signals detectable 18 months in advance

El Niño events, which usually bring extended hot and dry periods, can now be predicted nine months sooner than by using present methods.

Satellite observations currently are only scanning the top layers of the ocean, but it has been found that temperatures a few hundred metres below the surface hold the key to predicting the events.

Early warning is a positive for agriculture; predicting times of drought, and firefighters; and for predicting bushfires.

Read more at UNSW