NOAA El Niño Update: El Niño is Likely to Continue Through the Summer and Fall

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nws, Enso, el nino, El Niño
Fig. 1. Credit: NWS

El Niño is likely to continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer 2019 (70% chance) and fall (55-60% chance)

ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Advisory


An ENSO discussion taken from the Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS

During April, above-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) persisted across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. 1), reflecting the ongoing El Niño. All of the latest weekly Niño indices were near +0.8ºC, except for Niño-1+2 index, which was at +0.3ºC (Fig. 2). While surface indicators were relatively unchanged during the month, the anomalous upper-ocean subsurface temperatures (averaged across 180°-100°W) decreased through April (Fig. 3).

nws, Enso, el nino, El Niño
Fig. 2. Credit: NWS

Subsurface temperature anomalies remained positive close to the surface across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, but were increasingly negative at depth (Fig. 4). Suppressed tropical convection was evident near Indonesia and enhanced convection continued near the Date Line, though weaker compared to the last two months (Fig. 5). Low-level wind anomalies were weak over the tropical Pacific Ocean, with easterly anomalies evident over the western Pacific. Upper-level wind anomalies were easterly over the western Pacific and westerly over most of the eastern Pacific. Overall, oceanic and atmospheric conditions were consistent with El Niño.

nws, Enso, el nino, El Niño
Fig. 3. Credit: NWS

The majority of models in the IRI/CPC plume predict El Niño to continue through 2019, with SST anomalies in the Niño-3.4 region clustering between +0.5ºC and +1.0ºC (Fig. 6). However, model predictions made during the spring tend to be less accurate relative to the rest of the year, so uncertainty remains whether this outcome will occur. In the shorter term, a recent increase in westerly wind anomalies over the west-central Pacific Ocean portends the possible development of another downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave, which could build up the above-average subsurface temperatures needed for El Niño to persist.

nws, Enso, el nino, El Niño
Fig. 4. Credit: NWS

In summary, El Niño is likely to continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer 2019 (70% chance) and fall (55-60% chance; CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome for each 3-month period).

nws, Enso, el nino, El Niño
Fig. 5. Credit: NWS
nws, Enso, el nino, El Niño
Fig. 6. Credit: NWS

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