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HOME > El Niño Monitoring > El Niño Outlook

El Niño Outlook ( March 2017 - September 2017 )

Last Updated: 10 March 2017
( Next update will be on 10 April 2017 )


[El Niño / La Niña]

In February 2017, the NINO.3 SST was above normal with a deviation of +0.5°C (Table and Fig.3). SSTs were above normal in the eastern and western equatorial Pacific, and cooler-than-normal sea surface conditions in the central part were weaker in February than in January (Fig.4 and Fig.6). Cooler-than-normal subsurface conditions in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific were weaker in February than in January (Fig.5 and Fig.7). Atmospheric convective activity was below normal near the date line over the equatorial Pacific, and easterly winds in the lower troposphere (trade winds) were near normal over the central part (Fig.8, Fig.9 and Fig.10). As these oceanic and atmospheric conditions do not indicate clear features of El Niño / La Niña events, it is considered that ENSO neutral conditions continue.

From January to February, regions of positive SST anomalies expanded in the eastern equatorial Pacific (Fig.6). Cooler-than-normal subsurface waters observed in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific in January weakened, and in late February, warmer-than-normal subsurface waters were observed in most regions of the equatorial Pacific (Fig.7). Reflecting these changes in the observed conditions, NINO.3 SST recently predicted by JMA's El Niño prediction model is somewhat higher than in the previous month's model result. The latest model prediction suggests that the NINO.3 SST will be near normal or above normal during boreal spring and summer (Fig.11). In conclusion, it is more likely that ENSO neutral conditions will persist during the boreal spring and summer (60%) than that El Niño conditions will develop (40%) (Fig.1 and Fig.2).

[Western Pacific and Indian Ocean]

The area-averaged SST in the tropical western Pacific (NINO.WEST) region was near normal in February (Fig.3). It is likely that the NINO.WEST SST will be near normal until boreal summer (Fig.12).

The area-averaged SST in the tropical Indian Ocean (IOBW) region was below normal in February (Fig.3). It is likely that the IOBW SST will be mostly near normal during boreal spring and summer (Fig.13).



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