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El Nino-Southern Oscillation Updates

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Date: April 24, 2018

In the tropical Pacific, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral—neither El Niño nor La Niña. All climate models indicate the tropical Pacific Ocean will continue to warm slowly, but temperatures will remain close to average through the southern hemisphere winter.   

Most atmospheric and oceanic indicators of ENSO are at neutral levels. Sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific are close to average for this time of year. Beneath the surface, the tropical Pacific Ocean is slightly warmer than average, but well within the neutral range. In the atmosphere, cloud patterns remain La Niña-like, but trade winds are close to average.

All international climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest that sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific will continue to rise, but remain ENSO neutral for the remainder of the southern autumn and winter. By September, two of the eight models suggest ocean temperatures may approach El Niño thresholds.

NOAA National Weather Service / Climate Prediction Center

Date: April 23, 2018

  • La Niña conditions are present.
  • Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are below average across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • La Niña is expected to transition to ENSO-neutral during the April-May, with ENSO-neutral then likely (greater than 50% chance) to continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer 2018.

International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Date: March 19, 2018

In mid-March 2018, the east-central tropical Pacific still reflected weak La Niña conditions. Most of the key atmospheric variables, however, no longer show patterns suggestive of La Niña, and the east Pacific subsurface water temperature has warmed back to average. The official CPC/IRI outlook calls for a transition from La Niña to neutral conditions during the March-May season. The latest forecasts of statistical and dynamical models support this scenario.

World Meteorological Organization

Date: December 14, 2017

  • Weak La Niña conditions have recently developed in both the sea surface temperatures and the associated key atmospheric patterns;
  • La Niña conditions are 70-80% likely to continue into the first quarter of 2018.
  • La Niña is likely to be weak (0.5 to 1.0 degrees Celsius below average), with a slight chance for moderate strength (1.0 to 1.5 degrees Celsius below average).
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