SYDNEY, June 21 (Xinhua) -- The strongest El Nino system in 20 years that has caused widespread drought, crop loss, forest fires and coral bleaching throughout the equatorial pacific has ended with all ocean and atmospheric indicators appearing normal, Australia's weather bureau said on Tuesday.
That's good news to Australia's farmers who are now eying a potential La Nina weather system to follow during the winter and summer crops, which naturally boost production.
Recent observations and climate forecast suggest there is a 50 percent chance of a La Nina weather system developing the second half of 2016, which is keeping the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM's) El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) outlook at "La Nina Watch."
La Nina is typically associated with higher-than-usual winter and spring rainfall over eastern, central and northern Australia, with cooler-than-normal temperatures south of the tropical regions.
"If La Nina does develop, climate models suggest it is unlikely to reach levels seen in the most recent event of 2010-12, which was one of the strongest La Nina events on record," the bureau said in its updated outlook on Tuesday.
The BOM was slightly more cautious than the United States who recently upgraded their La Nina forecast to a 75 percent chance. While Aussie producers experience higher production, the weather pattern leads to poor crop conditions for in the major growing regions of the United States.
"In the coming months, we could see considerable (price) volatility, with global prices rising at a time when Australian farmers are achieving strong yields," Mecardo analyst Andrew Whitelaw told Xinhua, suggesting it could be Australia's best crop in the past 20 years.
"Australian crops are looking fantastic for the most part."
Australia's chief agriculture commodities forecaster ABARES on Tuesday increased its total farm production expectations to 58.5 billion Australian dollars (43.79 billion U.S. dollars) in the 2016-17 season, 12 percent higher than the five year average.
The favorable start to the season, firm export demand and forecast increases in production of key crop commodities is supporting the upbeat outlook, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) executive director Karen Schneider said.