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HOME > El Niño Monitoring > El Niño Outlook

El Niño Outlook ( April 2017 - October 2017 )

Last Updated: 10 April 2017
( Next update will be on 12 May 2017 )

[El Niño / La Niña]

In March 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 were below normal near the date line (Fig.4 and Fig.6). Warmer-than-normal subsurface conditions in the western and the eastern equatorial Pacific and cooler-than-normal subsurface conditions in the central part were both strengthened (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 stronger than normal over the central part (Fig.8, Fig.9 and Fig.10). Although SSTs have been above normal in the eastern equatorial Pacific, 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 February to March, regions of positive SST anomalies were maintained in the eastern equatorial Pacific (Fig.6), and warmer-than-normal subsurface conditions were strengthened by the westerly wind anomalies in the lower troposphere there. On the other hand, cooler-than-normal subsurface waters were strengthened in the central equatorial Pacific by the easterly wind anomalies in the lower troposphere (Fig.7 and Fig. 10). Reflecting these changes in the observed conditions, NINO.3 SST in two or three months future recently predicted by JMA's El Niño prediction model is somewhat higher than in the previous month's model result, but model prediction of NINO.3 SST for boreal summer and later is almost the same as previous one and has large uncertainties. The latest model prediction suggests that the NINO.3 SST will be above normal during boreal spring and near normal or above normal during summer (Fig.11). In conclusion, the probability of occurrence of El Niño event by the end of boreal summer is 50%. (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 March (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 March (Fig.3). It is likely that the IOBW SST will become gradually close to normal by boreal summer (Fig.13).

Produced by Climate Prediction Division, Japan Meteorological Agency

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