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ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory
Synopsis: There is a 76% chance of LaNiña during the Northern Hemisphere winter (December- February) 2022-23, with a transition to ENSO-neutral favored in February-April 2023 (57% chance).
Below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) strengthened in the east-central Pacific Ocean during the past month. All of the latest weekly Niño index values were near -1.0oC, with the exception of Niño-1+2 which was at -1.8oC. Since late July 2022, negative subsurface temperature anomalies have been quite persistent, reflecting the stationary pattern of below- average temperatures across the eastern Pacific Ocean. For the monthly average, low-level easterly wind anomalies and upper-level westerly wind anomalies were evident across most of the equatorialPacific. However, in the last week, the low-level trade winds weakened in association with sub-seasonal tropical variability. Convection remained suppressed over the western and central tropical Pacific and enhanced over Indonesia. Overall, the coupled ocean-atmosphere system continued to reflect La Niña.
The most recent IRI plume forecast of the Niño-3.4 SST index indicates La Niña will persist into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2022-23, and then transition to ENSO-neutral in February-April 2023. The forecaster consensus, which also considers the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME), is in agreement with the timing of this transition. The recent weakening of the trade winds suggest below-average SSTs may be near their minimum, though considerable uncertainty remains over how gradually the anomalies will decay. In summary, there is a 76% chance of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere winter (December-February) 2022-23, with a transition to ENSO-neutral favored in February-April 2023 (57% chance).