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El Niño Officially Declared

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Sea surface anomalies across the equatorial Pacific for January . (NOAA)

El Niño has officially been declared by the Climate Prediction Center.

According to the ENSO Diagnostics discussion for February, borderline, weak El Niño conditions are present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Weak El Niño conditions are favored to continue through spring.

What does it mean?

Usually above-average precipitation below-average temperatures  are experienced across the South during an El Niño. However, because this El Niño event is considered weak, significant impacts are not expected for the remainder of winter going into spring.

How long will El Niño last?

It is not clear if El Niño will persist into the summer; chances are “50% or less” per the diagnostics discussion. The reason is that models used to predict ENSO events are typically less accurate prior to spring. Because of this uncertainty, the impact ENSO will have on the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season is unknown.

If you would like to read the discussion yourself, click here.


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