Climate Change and Weather Extremes

Three major, coupled ocean-atmospheric climate modes address most of the seasonal variability of Australia’s climate: El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Southern Annular Mode (SAM), and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD).  These weather conditions strongly influence Australia’s weather, including the East Coast Lows, with the first two having significant impact on NSW.

The following high-level science questions will guide the NSW-IMOS observing strategy in this area:


  • How do ENSO and SAM affect the EAC and the coastal waters off NSW and how will the predicted changes in the frequency and strength of ENSO events and SAM impact NSW?


  • How are the development of East Coast Lows and severe winter storms on the eastern seaboard of Australia relate to ocean variability (such as SST patterns - including eddies)?
  • How do East Coast Lows and severe winter storm events effect nearshore, intertidal and beach topography, wave dynamics, storm surge and coastal inundation? How do wind and wave field data (radar) combine with wave models to better resolve small spatial scale variability for coastal hazard risk assessment?