Synopsis: ENSO-neutral or weak La NiÃ±a conditions are likely during the next 6-9 months.
By the end of November, equatorial SST anomalies greater than +0.5ÂºC were restricted to the region between Indonesia and 170ÂºE, while negative anomalies less than â€“0.5ÂºC were observed at most locations between 145ÂºW and the South American coast (Fig. 1). The SST departures in the NiÃ±o 3, NiÃ±o 3.4, and NiÃ±o 1+2 regions were negative, while weak positive departures were observed in the NiÃ±o 4 region (Fig. 2). During the last several months surface and subsurface temperature anomalies have decreased in the region between 180ÂºW and the South American coast (Fig. 3). During the same period persistent stronger-than-average low-level equatorial easterly winds were observed over the central Pacific, while near-average patterns of convection and sea level pressure occurred over most of the tropical Pacific. Collectively, the present oceanic and atmospheric anomalies are consistent with a trend toward La NiÃ±a conditions in the tropical Pacific.
The spread of the most recent statistical and coupled model forecasts (weak La NiÃ±a to weak El NiÃ±o) indicates some uncertainty in the outlooks (Fig. 4). However, current conditions (stronger-than-average easterly winds over the central equatorial Pacific) and recent observed trends (decreasing SST anomalies throughout the central and eastern equatorial Pacific) do not support the development of El NiÃ±o. Rather, they support either a continuation of ENSO-neutral conditions or the development of weak La NiÃ±a conditions.
This discussion is a consolidated effort of NOAA and its funded institutions. Weekly updates for SST, 850-hPa wind, OLR and features of the equatorial subsurface thermal structure are available on the Climate Prediction Center web page at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov (Weekly Update). Forecasts for the evolution of El NiÃ±o/La NiÃ±a are updated monthly in the Forecast Forum section of CPC's Climate Diagnostics Bulletin. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 12 January 2006. To receive an e-mail notification when the monthly ENSO Diagnostic Discussions are released, please send an e-mail message: email@example.com.