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El Nino-Southern Oscillation Updates

NOAA National Weather Service / Climate Prediction Center

Date: December 11, 2017

  • La Niña conditions are present.
  • Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are below average across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • La Niña conditions are predicted to continue (~65%-75% chance) at least through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Date: December 5, 2017

The Bureau’s ENSO Outlook has been raised to LA NIÑA, indicating that the tropical Pacific has reached La Niña levels. Climate models suggest this La Niña will be weak and short-lived, persisting until early southern autumn 2018.

Signs of La Niña in the equatorial Pacific have increased during spring. The central to eastern tropical Pacific Ocean has cooled steadily since winter, and is now at La Niña thresholds (0.8 °C below average). Atmospheric indicators, including the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), trade winds and cloud, also show clear La Niña patterns.

In order for 2017–18 to be classed as a La Niña year, the event needs to last for at least 3 months. Climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest that while this event is likely to persist over the southern summer, it will be weaker than the strong La Niña of 2010–12.

International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Date: November 20, 2017

In mid-November 2017, the tropical Pacific reflected weak La Niña conditions, with SSTs in the east-central tropical Pacific past the threshold of La Niña and most atmosphere variables showing patterns suggestive of weak La Niña conditions. The collection of latest ENSO prediction models indicates weak La Niña as the most likely scenario for the remainder of Northern Hemisphere fall and for the winter. The official CPC/IRI outlook favors continuation of La Niña through winter, and carries a La Niña advisory.

World Meteorological Organization

Date: October 5, 2017

  • Sea surface temperatures in eastern tropical Pacific have recently cooled, approaching La Niña levels, while atmospheric patterns have largely remained ENSO-neutral;
  • Models surveyed and expert opinion suggest that weak La Niña conditions may develop, with about 50-55% probability, in the final quarter of 2017;
  • If La Niña conditions do develop before the end of 2017, they are likely to be weak, and would likely return to ENSO-neural in the first quarter of 2018;
  • Continuation of ENSO-neutral conditions is also a plausible scenario, with 45-50% likelihood;
  • Emergence of El Niño can be practically ruled out.


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