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HOME > El Niño Monitoring > El Niño Outlook

El Niño Outlook ( June 2021 - December 2021 )

Last Updated: 10 June 2021
( Next update will be on 9 July 2021 )


[El Niño / La Niña]

In May 2021, the NINO.3 SST was below normal with a deviation of -0.5°C (Table and Fig.3). The five-month running mean of the NINO.3 SST deviation was -0.6°C in March 2021, constituting 9 consecutive months of -0.5°C or below SST beginning last July (this satisfies JMA's criterion of a La Niña event of -0.5°C or below for consecutive 6 months). SSTs in the equatorial eastern Pacific, though still below normal, were gradually nearing to normal (Fig.4 and Fig.6) throughout the month. Subsurface temperatures were above normal in the western and central parts and near normal in the eastern parts (Fig.5 and Fig.7). While easterly winds in the lower troposphere (i.e., trade winds) over the central equatorial Pacific were stronger than normal, atmospheric convective activity near the date line over the equatorial Pacific was near normal (Fig.8, Fig.9, Fig.10). As these oceanic and atmospheric conditions indicate a pattern less like La Niña and more like ENSO-neutral, the La Niña event since boreal summer 2020 is likely to have terminated.

In the western equatorial Pacific, subsurface warm water mass is observed, and in the coming months this is expected to migrate eastward and contribute to further warming of SSTs in the eastern part. Easterly wind anomalies in the eastern part are predicted to diminish. JMA's El Niño prediction model predicts that the NINO.3 SST will continue to rise and get closer to normal, and remain near normal in the coming months (Fig.11). In conclusion, it is likely that ENSO-neutral conditions continue through to next autumn (60%). (Fig.1 and Fig.2).

[Western Pacific and Indian Ocean]

The area-averaged SST in the tropical western Pacific (NINO.WEST) region was below normal in May (Fig.3). The index is likely to gradually get closer to normal in boreal summer, and remain near normal during autumn (Fig.12).

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

The seasonal climate outlook for Japan is available here .



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