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El Nino Update

February 15, 2016
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood  


Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly - Current


At the risk of sticking my neck out! But there are signs that the current El Nino may just be starting to run out of steam.


The MEI Index peaked in August/September last year. but had a small uptick again last month. However, the latest NOAA ENSO Advisory suggests this was a temporary blip.

The weekly anomalies below show the warm pool steadily shrinking from the east.






Compared to a month ago, there has been a rapid cooling off across much of most of the region.




Upper ocean temperatures in the Central and Eastern Pacific have also fallen back after the January blip.





Atmospheric temperatures tend to lag ENSO changes by about three to six months. Comparing the evolution of the current El NIno with that of 1997/8, we see that it started earlier in the year. Indeed there were weak El Nino conditions through most of 2014, which were reflected in last year’s temperatures.

However, so far at least, the 1997/8 event peaked higher. There is still a chance that the index could increase this spring, as it did in 1998.

Unless it does, though, it is likely that atmospheric temperatures either peaked last month, or will this month. 

It is too early to predict where temperature anomalies will end up for 2016, but it is now beginning to look extremely unlikely that they will top 1998. 




  1. Bulaman permalink
    February 15, 2016 6:11 pm

    The Australian BOM run an interesting representation of the ENSO. The Super El Nino shills were all gloom in October but as you can see not so much in the end. It does bounce around a bit though!

  2. Green Sand permalink
    February 15, 2016 6:34 pm

    As with a lot of things it is what is going in under the surface:-

    1st Feb

    11th Feb

    Classic blue v red! Next update expected on 16 February 2016

  3. February 15, 2016 9:30 pm

    It’s time to to distinguish clearly between a global-average manifestation of El Niño-driven global weather effects, and an explanation of global average warming associated with El Niño. Here are some ideas on that subject:

  4. dave permalink
    February 15, 2016 11:02 pm

    I can’t follow that.

  5. February 16, 2016 1:25 am

    Yes, it does look like the eastern portion has faded away, but the central portion is still hanging on. Hard to tell how much longer, but could be months yet.

    Here’s a comparison of the UAH TLT starting January 2015 versus the period starting January 1997.

    And here’s a comparison of the NOAA Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) for the same period.

  6. Paul2 permalink
    February 16, 2016 8:53 am

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