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Update on El Niño

August 21, 2019

The period of El Niño for this year is officially over as measurements confirm we are in El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral status. Studies indicate that this condition will remain throughout the Northern Hemisphere winter as well.

However, this period of El Niño ending for the season and the phenomenon becoming neutral does not mean we can expect weather conditions to remain “on average.” ENSO conditions and numbers create a good predictor the weather, but when it becomes neutral we can no longer rely on that statistic. This means predicting weather in advance becomes a much more daunting task.

The move to neutral also creates an impact to the Atlantic Hurricane Season, where El Niño tended to produce hostile conditions for hurricanes, now it will not create a monumental push.

Most recent computer models indicate a 50% – 55% chance of ENSO remaining neutral during the upcoming winter, but  El Niño can re-emerge as easily as go away in the fall. Forecasts give us some information on what could happen; as we gather more data at moments when ENSO is neutral the ability to predict weather accurately will improve.