Updated 06/20/18 – Enso Neutral Summer of 1018 and with a 50% chance of El Nino by Fall of 2018

Synopsis: ENSO-neutral is favored through Northern Hemisphere summer 2018, with the chance for El Niño increasing to 50% during fall, and ~65% during winter 2018-19. ENSO-neutral continued during May, as indicated by mostly average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific (Fig. 1). The latest weekly Niño indices were between +0.2°C and 0.0°C, except for the Niño-1+2 index, which remained negative (-0.5°C; Fig. 2). Positive subsurface temperature anomalies (averaged across 180°-100°W) increased over the past month (Fig. 3), as another downwelling equatorial oceanic Kelvin wave reinforced the already above-average subsurface temperatures (Fig. 4). Convection remained suppressed near the Date Line and was slightly enhanced over Indonesia (Fig. 5). Low-level and upper-level winds were near average across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Overall, oceanic and atmospheric conditions reflected ENSO-neutral. The majority of models in the IRI/CPC plume predict ENSO-neutral to continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer 2018, with El Niño most likely thereafter (Fig. 6). The forecaster consensus favors the onset of El Niño during the Northern Hemisphere fall, which would then continue through winter. These forecasts are supported by the ongoing build-up of heat within the tropical Pacific Ocean. In summary, ENSO-neutral is favored through Northern Hemisphere summer 2018, with the chance for El Niño increasing to 50% during fall, and ~65% during winter 2018-19 (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome for each 3-month period). This discussion is a consolidated effort of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA’s National Weather Service, and their funded institutions. Oceanic and atmospheric conditions are updated weekly on the Climate Prediction Center web site (El Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions). Forecasts are also updated monthly in the Forecast Forum of CPC’s Climate Diagnostics Bulletin. Additional perspectives and analysis are also available in an ENSO blog. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 12 July 2018. To receive an e-mail notification when the monthly ENSO Diagnostic Discussions are released, please send an e-mail message to: ncep.list.enso-update@noaa.gov.


  1. Hope you enjoyed the rain……1-2 inches in S. California and more in Ventura.


  2. Pretty soon it will be there and quite a bit I think… 4-8 inches of rain or more in the lowlands with much higher amounts in the orographically favored locations. Perhaps over 20 inches in some mountain areas. Should be a very dangerous storm to some canyon locations as well as coastal areas where the high tides, wind, and flooding makes a high impact.

  3. Thanks very much….I appreciate your interest….I will try to keep you informed of extended Sierra weather in my summary.

  4. Great site! My daughter’s class is studying weather. Her teacher wrote: ” I was wondering if there are any meteorologists out there or just huge weather buffs who would like to come do a presentation to the sixth graders about air and water currents, in particular El Nino years. We’ve been studying it in class but I am not a specialist in this area and would love to have someone with more knowledge explain the factors that influence weather.” I wondered if this us up your alley at all? Let me know if so, and I’ll find out more particulars. Thanks a lot. –Teal

    • Teal,

      Sure I have done this for my kids and several classes at Children’s Health Council where I worked for over 14 years….I would need an internet connection that could be projected onto a screen from my laptop so that I could use visuals and they could see first hand how weather forecasts are done and the forces that causes weather changes……

      What school and what are the ages of the students?

      Richard Stolee

      • Thank you! The kids will love it. These are 6th graders at JLS in Palo Alto. What’s the best way to contact you to work out date/time etc?


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