Official NOAA El Nino Update: 90% Chance El Nino Will Continue Into Winter 2015/16

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Typical climate patterns for the U.S. during El Niño winters. (Image by the Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS/The COMET Program)
Typical climate patterns for the U.S. during El Niño winters. (Image by the Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS/The COMET Program)

NOAA just released their latest El Nino update today and they are saying that there is now greater than a 90% chance that the current El Nino will continue through our Northern winter 2015/16.  There is even a 80% that the current El Nino will continue through Spring 2016.  Boom!

NOAA is also saying that many models are predicting the current El Nino to develop into a Strong El Nino during the norther winter of 2015/16.  4 of the 5 recorded Strong El Nino’s in California have resulted in Above Average Snowfall.

Graph the 5 El Ninos on record in California showing 4 of 5 with above average precipitation in California.
Graph of the 5 El Ninos on record in California showing 4 of 5 with above average precipitation in California.

 

EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO) DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION

issued by

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWS

and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society

9 July 2015

ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Advisory

Synopsis: There is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 80% chance it will last into early spring 2016.

During June, sea surface temperatures (SST) anomalies exceeded +1.0°C across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. 1). The largest SST anomaly increases occurred in the Niño-3 and Niño-3.4 regions, while the Niño-4 and Niño-1+2 indices remained more constant through the month (Fig. 2). Positive subsurface temperature anomalies weakened (Fig. 3) due to the eastward shift of an upwelling oceanic Kelvin wave, which reduced above-average temperatures at depth in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (Fig. 4). In many respects, the atmospheric anomalies remained firmly coupled to the oceanic warming. Significant westerly winds were apparent in the western equatorial Pacific and anomalous upper-level easterly winds continued. The traditional and equatorial Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) were both negative, which are consistent with enhanced convection over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific and suppressed convection over Indonesia (Fig. 5). Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic features reflect an ongoing and strengthening El Niño.

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Nearly all models predict El Niño to continue into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, with many multi-model averages predicting a strong event at its peak strength (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index of +1.5°C or greater; Fig. 6). At this time, the forecaster consensus is in favor of a significant El Niño in excess of +1.5°C in the Niño-3.4 region. Overall, there is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 80% chance it will last into early spring 2016 (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome for each 3-month period).

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Across the contiguous United States, temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are expected to remain minimal during the Northern Hemisphere summer and increase into the late fall and winter (the 3-month seasonal outlook will be updated on Thursday July 16 th). El Niño will likely contribute to a below normal Atlantic hurricane season, and to above-normal hurricane seasons in both the central and eastern Pacific hurricane basins (click Hurricane season outlook for more).

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