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ENSO update: La Niña shows signs of ending

The forecaster consensus favors the statistical models with a transition to ENSO-neutral in the February-April 2023 season.


January 24, 2023

A transition from La Niña to ENSO-neutral is anticipated during the February-April 2023 season, according to NOAA Climate Prediction Center. By Northern Hemisphere spring, from March-May, the chance for ENSO-neutral is 82% bringing good news for crop production.

During December, below-average sea surface temperatures weakened over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The subsurface temperature anomalies also weakened substantially, but below-average subsurface temperatures persisted near the surface and at depth in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. However, the atmospheric circulation anomalies over the tropical Pacific Ocean did not notably weaken. Overall, the coupled ocean-atmosphere system continued to reflect La Niña.

The most recent IRI plume predicts that La Niña will transition to ENSO-neutral during the Northern Hemisphere winter 2022-23. The dynamical models indicate a faster transition (January-March) than the statistical models (February-April). At this time, the forecaster consensus favors the statistical models, with a transition to ENSO-neutral in the February-April 2023 season.

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