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El Niño’s Odds to Return By Late Summer or Fall Increasing

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Jonathan Belles and Brian Donegan, The Weather Channel

The odds of El Niño’s development by the late summer or early fall have increased, according to the latest output from forecast model guidance.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) officially declared La Niña’s end in early February as sea temperatures have steadily warmed in the equatorial region of the central and eastern Pacific, and we’re now in the neutral phase of the oscillation. Neutral means that neither La Niña or El Niño conditions exist.

As shown below, models currently suggest we’ll be in the neutral category through the spring and into the early summer months (April-May-June, or AMJ), but after that, sea temperatures could be warm enough for El Niño conditions to take over.

The chance for various phases of El Niño, according to IRI’s mid-March model-based probabilistic forecast. Red bars show the probability of El Niño’s development during each three-month period. (International Research Institute for Climate and Society)

In the heart of hurricane season – August, September and October (ASO) – the chance for El Niño climbs to 67 percent, according to the International Research Institute for Climate and Society’s (IRI) model-based probabilistic forecast.

The ECMWF (European) computer model currently has about 70 percent of its ensemble members suggesting a moderate or strong El Niño will develop by September.

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