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El Nino-Southern Oscillation Updates

NOAA National Weather Service / Climate Prediction Center

Date: October 16, 2017

  • ENSO-Neutral conditions are present.
  • Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are near-to-below average across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. 
  • La Niña conditions are favored (~55%-65%) during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18.

International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Date: October 12, 2017

In early October 2017, the tropical Pacific remained in an ENSO-neutral state, but near the borderline of weak La Niña, as SSTs in the east-central tropical Pacific have cooled to the threshold for La Niña and the atmosphere has also shown patterns suggestive of near-La Niña conditions. The collection of latest ENSO prediction models indicates weak La Niña as a likely scenario during Northern Hemisphere fall and winter. The official CPC/IRI outlook favors La Niña development, and carries a La Niña watch.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Date: October 10, 2017

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral. The surface of the tropical Pacific has warmed over the past fortnight as a result of weaker trade winds. This has reversed the cooling trend that had been observed since mid-winter. While sea surface temperatures remain well within the neutral range, anomalously cool water persists below the surface.

International climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest this recent surface warming may only be temporary, with further cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean likely. Five of the eight models suggest sea surface temperatures will reach La Niña thresholds by December 2017, but only three maintain values for long enough to be classified as a La Niña event.

While unusual, it is not unheard of to see La Niña develop this late in the year.

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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