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HOME > El Niño Monitoring > El Niño Monitoring and Outlook

El Niño Monitoring and Outlook


9 September 2016

Produced by Climate Prediction Division, Japan Meteorological Agency
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El Niño Outlook

El Niño Monitoring

The latest analysis of oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the equatorial Pacific is shown in Table and Figs. 3-10. This analysis is produced routinely by the Japan Meteorological Agency. Figs. 5 and 7 are based on the ocean data assimilation system (MOVE/MRI.COM-G2) of JMA.

Model Predictions of ENSO monitoring indices

Model predictions of SST deviations from the climatological reference based on a sliding 30-year period for NINO.3, NINO.WEST, and IOBW are presented in Fig.11, Fig.12, and Fig.13, respectively. This outlook is produced based on JMA's El Niño prediction model (JMA/MRI-CGCM2). The JMA official announcement is produced by considering not only the results of the prediction model, but also the analysis of the latest atmosphere-ocean conditions.


El Niño Outlook


Fig.1 Five-month running mean of the SST deviation for NINO.3 predicted by JMA's El Niño prediction model (JMA/MRI-CGCM2).

Red dots indicate observed values, and boxes indicate predictions. Each box denotes the range where the value will be included with the probability of 70%.


YEARMONTHmean period
2016 JULMAY2016–SEP2016
AUGJUN2016–OCT2016
SEPJUL2016–NOV2016
OCTAUG2016–DEC2016
NOVSEP2016–JAN2017
DECOCT2016–FEB2017
2017 JANNOV2016–MAR2017
El Niño ENSO neutral La Niña

Fig.2 ENSO forecast probabilities based on JMA/MRI-CGCM2.

Red, yellow, and blue bars indicate probabilities that the five-month running mean of NINO.3 SST deviation from the sliding 30-year mean is +0.5°C or above (El Niño), between +0.4°C and -0.4°C (ENSO Neutral), and -0.5°C or below (La Niña), respectively. Labels in lightface indicate the past months, and ones in bold face indicate the current and future months.


El Niño Monitoring

The latest analysis of oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the equatorial Pacific is shown in Table and Figs. 3-10. This analysis is produced routinely by the Japan Meteorological Agency. Figs. 5 and 7 are based on the ocean data assimilation system (MOVE/MRI.COM-G2) of JMA.


Table El Niño Monitoring Indices.

20152016
Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug.
Monthly mean SST (°C) 27.5 27.6 27.9 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.7 28.3 27.2 26.4 25.2 24.6
SST deviation (°C) +2.6 +2.7 +2.9 +3.0 +2.7 +2.0 +1.6 +0.8 +0.1 -0.1 -0.6 -0.6
5-month mean (°C) +2.5 +2.7 +2.8 +2.7 +2.4 +2.0 +1.4 +0.9 +0.4 -0.1 not yet not yet
SOI -1.6 -1.6 -0.4 -0.7 -1.7 -1.4 -0.1 -1.4 +0.5 +0.9 +0.6 +0.8

The SST is monthly mean sea surface temperature averaged over NINO.3 (5°N-5°S, 150°W-90°W).
The SST deviation for NINO.3 is defined as the difference between the monthly mean SST and the climatological mean based on a sliding 30-year period.

JMA defines that the El Niño (La Niña) is such that the five-month running mean SST deviation for NINO.3 continues +0.5°C (-0.5°C) or higher (lower) for six consecutive months or longer.
Five-month mean values with underlines indicate above +0.5°C, and italic ones below -0.5°C.

The latest SST and SOI are a preliminary value.





Fig.3 Time series of sea surface temperature (SST) deviations from the climatological mean based on a sliding 30-year period for NINO.3, (the 2nd panel), Southern Oscillation Index (the 3rd panel), SST deviations for NINO.WEST (the 4th panel), and SST deviations for IOBW (the bottom panel). (each region is shown in the top panel).

Thin lines indicate a monthly mean value, and smoothed thick curves, a five-month running mean. Red shaded areas denote El Niño periods, and blue, La Niña ones.


August 2016

Fig.4 Monthly mean SST and anomalies in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Base period for normal is 1981-2010.


August 2016

Fig.5 Depth-longitude cross sections of temperature and anomalies along the equator in the Indian and Pacific Oceans by the ocean data assimilation system. Base period for normal is 1981-2010.


Fig.6 Time-longitude cross section of SST anomalies along the equator in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Base period for normal is 1981-2010.


Fig.7 Time-longitude cross section of ocean heat content (OHC; vertically averaged temperature in the top 300 m) anomalies along the equator in the Indian and Pacific Oceans by the ocean data assimilation system. Base period for normal is 1981-2010.


August 2016

Fig.8 Monthly mean outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and anomalies. Base period for normal is 1981-2010. Original data were provided by NOAA.


Fig.9 Time series of OLR index around the International Date Line (OLR-DL), equatorial zonal wind index at 200 hPa in the central Pacific (U200-CP), equatorial zonal wind index at 850 hPa in the central Pacific (U850-CP), and equatorial zonal wind index at 200hPa in the Indian Ocean (U200-IN) (from upper to lower). Base period for normal is 1981-2010. Red shaded areas denote El Niño periods, and blue, La Niña ones.


Fig.10 Time-longitude cross sections of velocity potential anomalies at 200 hPa (left) and zonal wind anomalies at 850 hPa (right) along the equator. Base period for normal is 1981-2010.


Model Predictions of ENSO monitoring indices

Model predictions of SST deviations from the climatological reference based on a sliding 30-year period for NINO.3, NINO.WEST, and IOBW are presented in Fig.11, Fig.12, and Fig.13, respectively. These predictions are produced based on JMA's El Niño prediction model (JMA/MRI-CGCM2). The JMA official announcement is produced by considering not only the results of the prediction model, but also the analysis of the latest atmosphere-ocean conditions.

These figures indicate a time series of the monthly sea surface temperature (SST) deviation for NINO.3 (5°N-5°S, 150°W-90°W), NINO.WEST (10°N-EQ, 130°E-150°E), and IOBW (20°N-20°S, 40°E-100°E). Thick line with closed circle shows the observed SST deviation and boxes show the predicted one for the next six months by the El Niño prediction model. Each box denotes the range where the SST deviation will be included with the probability of 70%.


Fig.11 Outlook of the SST deviation for NINO.3 by the El Niño prediction model.


Fig.12 Outlook of the SST deviation for NINO.WEST by the El Niño prediction model.


Fig.13 Outlook of the SST deviation for IOBW by the El Niño prediction model.

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Tokyo Climate Center, Climate Prediction Division, 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
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