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HOME > El Niño Monitoring > El Niño Outlook

El Niño Outlook ( October 2021 - April 2022 )

Last Updated: 11 October 2021
( Next update will be on 10 November 2021 )


[El Niño / La Niña]

In September 2021, the NINO.3 SST slightly dropped to -0.4°C (Table and Fig.3). This is still within the ENSO-neutral range. SSTs in the equatorial Pacific were above normal in the western part and below normal in the central and eastern parts (Fig.4 and Fig.6). Subsurface temperatures were above normal in the western parts and below normal in the central and eastern parts (Fig.5 and Fig.7). In the atmosphere, convective activity near the date line over the equatorial Pacific was below normal and easterlies in the lower troposphere (i.e., trade winds) over the central equatorial Pacific were stronger than normal (Fig.8, Fig.9, Fig.10). It is concluded from these analyses that, although NINO.3 SST still remained neutral in September, overall conditions in the atmosphere and ocean in the tropical Pacific is heading towards La Niña condtions.

The subsurface cold water volume observed in the central equatorial Pacific in September is expected to propagate eastward in the coming months and contribute to further lowering SSTs in the eastern Pacific. JMA's El Niño prediction model predicts that eastely winds over the central equatorial Pacific continue to be stronger than normal during this autumn and the coming winter in association with warm SSTs and enhanced convective activity in the western equatorial Pacific. Thes anomalies in the atmosphere are conducive to more La Niña-like conditions and make NINO.3 SST below -0.5°C on a monthly basis very likely. Despite this being the case, the probability of NINO.3 SST satisfying JMA's definition of La Niña (5-month moving average below -0.5°C for 6 consecutive months) during this autumn and the winter ahead should be discounted when it is taken into account that NINO.3 SST was still above -0.5°C in September and is predicted to start to rise towards late winter (Fig.11). In conclusion, La Niña conditions are more likely to emerge (60%) during this autumn and the coming winter than ENSO-neutral conditions continue (40%) (Fig.1 and Fig.2).

[Western Pacific and Indian Ocean]

The area-averaged SST in the tropical western Pacific (NINO.WEST) region was above normal in September (Fig.3). The index is likely to be above or near normal until boreal winter (Fig.12).

The area-averaged SST in the tropical Indian Ocean (IOBW) region was near normal in September (Fig.3). The index is likely to be near or below normal until boreal winter (Fig.13).

The seasonal climate outlook for Japan is available here .



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