A NSW Government website

Climate influences on Australian weather

Meet the ClimateDogs

Understanding what influences Australia’s climate at key farm decision making points throughout the year is crucial. The NSW ClimateDogs animation series uses sheep dogs to explain complex atmospheric phenomena. The series has been developed in collaboration with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Victorian Department of Primary Industries.


Is the Madden Julian Oscillation of tropical systems near the equator, which can influence Australia’s weather and climate, especially during the warmest months of the year.


Otherwise known as the Subtropical Ridge is the lead dog of the pack. RIDGY's position and intensity have a significant influence on weather in NSW. Recent changes in RIDGY's behaviour appear to be driving some significant changes to southern NSW rainfall patterns.


Represents the El Niño Southern Oscillation. Changes in ENSO's behaviour has a significant influence on rainfall probabilities in inland NSW during the winter and spring period.


Represents the Indian Ocean Dipole. Like ENSO, changes in INDY's behaviour also has a significant influence on rainfall probabilities in inland NSW during winter and spring.


Represents the Southern Annular Mode and is a complex climate dog. Recent changes in SAM's behaviour increase probabilities of rainfall in spring and summer in some parts of NSW.


The East Coast Low phenomena represents the deep low pressure systems that are an important climate feature along the southeast coast of Australia.

Related Sites

From the Bureau of Meteorology

Australian Climate Influences

ENSO Update