The Climatedogs

The Climatedogs represent the climate processes that drive our rainfall variability across Australia.

These working dogs love rounding up our rainfall. They often work as a team, helping one another to bring about our wetter and drier seasons.

Over recent decades some of these dogs have started to change their behaviour, contributing to the variability and changing weather patterns that many farmers have noticed.

Jump straight to the dog you're interested in:

The roundupEnsoIndyRidgySam
animated dogs rounding up weather on a map of Australia animated dog called Enso animated dog called Indy animated dog called Ridgy animated dog called Sam

Our national Climatedogs are supported by Victorian and NSW Climatedogs Eastie and Mojo, specially bred for their local conditions.

animated dog called Eastie animated dog called Mojo


The dogsWatch them

The roundup

animated dogs rounding up weather on a map of Australia



animated dog called Enso


The El Niño Southern Oscillation, or Enso, has a big influence on Australia’s climate and seasonal variability.

During La Niña, Enso chases greater amounts of moist tropical air across Australia, and many of those years see higher winter and spring rainfall across large parts of Australia.

During El Niño, Enso changes its mind and drives warm moist air away from Australia, often resulting in a drier winter and spring for eastern Australia, as well as an increased chance of frost and heatwave events.


animated dog called Indy


This is the Indian Ocean Dipole, also known as Indy, who influences south-east and central Australia’s rainfall, mainly in spring.

Indy likes to herd moisture from the warm north-east Indian Ocean across to south-eastern Australia.

When this moist air meets up with southern weather systems, it can deliver significant rainfall.

Some years, the north-eastern Indian Ocean is cooler than normal, meaning less evaporation and Indy can’t deliver as much moisture, usually meaning a drier spring in the centre and south-east.


animated dog called Ridgy


Ridgy is great at blocking rain-bearing fronts. From November through until April, Ridgy chases away cold fronts around southern Australia for days or even weeks at a time.

When winter sets in, Ridgy heads north and cold fronts find it much easier to reach southern Australia and deliver their rain, until Ridgy returns again next November.


animated dog called Sam


Meet Sam. Sam herds cold fronts up from the Southern Ocean, a significant source of rain for much of southern Australia.

If we take a look at the Southern Ocean, we can see westerly winds roaring around Antarctica, throwing out cold fronts of stormy wet weather.

The strength and position of these winds is known as the Southern Annular Mode, or Sam.

Sam is an unreliable climate dog, often changing behaviour over a matter of weeks.

This can affect southern Australia’s rainfall in winter, and even parts of eastern and northern Australia’s rainfall in summer.



And, while not large-scale climate drivers, these 2 climatedogs can bring weather systems that affect seasonal variability in parts of Australia.



animated dog called Eastie


Eastie represents the deep low-pressure systems that are an important climate feature along the south-east coast of Australia.

These deep low-pressure systems can be caused by upper-atmosphere disturbances, decaying cyclones, existing low-pressure conditions or in the wake of passing fronts.

This energetic little dog can be triggered into action overnight causing strong winds, big surf, heavy rains and lots of rough weather.

Eastie can appear all year round but typically prefers the seasons of autumn and winter.


animated dog called Mojo


He can have a big influence on Australia’s weather and climate, especially during the warmest months of the year.

Mojo sends a wave of weather across the Indian Ocean which can create cyclones and bring widespread rain events through parts of Australia.

Mojo mainly affects northern Australia, but can influence rain events further south, especially if one of Mojo’s moisture waves feeds into a timely weather event down south.

While we can’t control what these climate dogs are up to, there are new and improved tools that can assist farmers to keep an eye on the pack, helping to improve our understanding of seasonal forecasts and manage climate risk.

The Climatedogs are proudly funded by Managing Climate Variability.

Victoria and NSW already have their own specially bred, local versions of the Climatedogs, which you can watch online:

You can download the Climatedogs script to read it, and learn more about state-specific climate influences on this site.

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