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El Nino-Southern Oscillation Updates

NOAA National Weather Service / Climate Prediction Center

Date: November 12, 2019

  • ENSO-neutral conditions are present.
  • Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are above average from the western to east-central Pacific Ocean and are below average in the far eastern Pacific.
  • The pattern of anomalous convection and winds are generally consistent with ENSO-neutral.
  • ENSO-neutral is favored during the Northern Hemisphere fall 2019 (~85% chance), continuing through spring 2020 (55-60% chance).

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Date: November 12, 2019

The tropical Pacific Ocean remains neutral with respect to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), while the strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) continues.

Despite some weakening over the past fortnight due to a transient Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) event, IOD values remain strongly positive. Significantly warmer than average waters remain near the Horn of Africa, and cooler than average waters persist in the eastern Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia.

International climate models surveyed by the Bureau indicate the positive IOD is so strong that it is likely to be slow to decline and could persist into mid-summer.

Typically, a positive IOD brings below average spring rainfall to southern and central Australia with warmer days for the southern two-thirds of the country. Positive IOD events are often associated with a more severe fire season for southeast Australia.

In the tropical Pacific Ocean, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral. While surface waters of the tropical Pacific Ocean are slightly warmer than average, atmospheric indicators are generally neutral.

Most climate models forecast ENSO-neutral conditions for the rest of 2019 and into the first quarter of 2020. When ENSO is neutral, it has little effect on Australian and global climate, meaning other influences are more likely to dominate. 


All eight surveyed international climate models indicate central tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures in the NINO3.4 region will remain at ENSO-neutral levels into early 2020.

One model indicates that values may move towards La Niña thresholds over autumn, surpassing the threshold value during April. The remaining models all maintain NINO3.4 values within the neutral range throughout the outlook period.

International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Date: October 18, 2019

SSTs in the east-central Pacific maintained ENSO-neutral levels during September and early October, despite some warming in October. Patterns in some atmospheric variables show weak El Niño conditions, but this is attributed to intraseasonal variability and the collective assessment is for ENSO-neutral conditions. Model forecasts generally favor ENSO-neutral through autumn, winter and spring, with slightly higher chances for El Niño than La Niña. The official CPC/IRI outlook is consistent with these model forecasts.

World Meteorological Organization

Date: May 27, 2019

  • Sea surface temperature patterns in the tropical Pacific Ocean were at borderline to weak El Niño levels in April and early May 2019. Some El Niño-like atmospheric patterns have also been present.
  • Model predictions and expert opinion indicate a 60-65% chance that El Nino will be present during June-August 2019.
  • Chances for El Niño continuing into the following season of September-November fall to near 50%. However, long-lead outlooks made at this time of year are particularly more uncertain beyond August.
  • Sea surface temperatures are most likely to be about 0.5 to 0.9 degrees Celsius above average in the east-central topical Pacific during the June-August 2019 season. A strong El Niño event during 2019 appears unlikely.
  • Through the September-November season of 2019, the development of La Niña is extremely unlikely.


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