March 2016 ENSO Update – We’ll Have to Keep an Eye on the Pocket of Warm Water South of the Equator

Bob Tisdale - Climate Observations

This post provides an update of many of the ENSO-related variables we presented as part of the 2014-15 El Niño Series.  For the posts about the 2015/16 El Niño, we’ve used the evolution years of different El Niños as references to the goings-on in 2015.  This month we’re including the 1997/98 El Niño because it was the strongest El Niño in our short instrument temperature record.  For the other reference, we’re using 1982, which was the second strongest El Niño.

And we’re going to discuss the pocket of warm water (leftovers from the 2015/16 El Niño) that has formed south of the equator, which should be returned west with a Rossby wave.  Will it be drawn back to the equator and suppress a La Niña?  Or will it create a weak El Niño for 2016/17?  Or will it avoid the equator entirely?

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