NASA predicts a ‘return to normal’ in ENSO conditions

Watts Up With That?

anomnight-current

After Strong El Niño Winter, NASA Model Sees Return to Normal

Not too hot, not too cold – instead, water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean should be just around normal for the rest of 2016, according to forecasts from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, or GMAO. With these neutral conditions, scientists with the modeling center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center say there is unlikely to be a La Niña event in late 2016.

Last winter saw an extremely strong El Niño event, in which warmer-than-normal water sloshed toward the eastern Pacific Ocean. Historically, some of the larger El Niño events are followed by a La Niña event, in which deep, colder-than-normal water surfaces in the eastern Pacific Ocean, off the coast of South America.

color map of oval globe on
Sea surface temperature patterns of the 2015 El Niño in the Pacific Ocean unfolded differently than those seen in the 1997-1998 El Niño.

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