The pattern of El Niño has changed dramatically in recent years, according to the first seasonal record distinguishing different types of El Niño events over the last 400 years.
A new category of El Niño has become far more prevalent in the last few decades than at any time in the past four centuries. Over the same period, traditional El Niño events have become more intense.
This new finding will arguably alter our understanding of the El Niño phenomenon. Changes to El Niño will influence patterns of precipitation and temperature extremes in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Americas.
Some climate model studies suggest this recent change in El Niño “flavours” could be due to climate change, but until now, long-term observations were limited.
Recent and Current Conditions
IRI ENSO Forecast
2019 October Quick Look
Published: October 10, 2019
A monthly summary of the status of El Niño, La Niña, and the Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, based on the NINO3.4 index (120-170W, 5S-5N)
..SSTs in the east-central Pacific maintained ENSO-neutral levels during September and early October, despite some warming in October. Patterns in most of the key atmospheric variables are also showing ENSO-neutral conditions. Model forecasts generally favor ENSO-neutral through autumn, winter and into spring, with slightly higher chances for El Niño than La Niña. The official CPC/IRI outlook is consistent with these model forecasts.
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