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El Niño Update - Tropical Pacific waters show signs of cooling

El Niño-like conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean weakened over the past two weeks, after being close to or exceeding El Niño thresholds for several weeks. Despite this easing, there is still an El Niño Alert.

January 14, 2015

Several indicators have moved back from El Niño thresholds over the past two weeks. Sea surface temperature anomalies have notably cooled by around 0.4 °C in the key NINO regions of the central to eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, although temperatures still remain above average along much of the equator. Beneath the surface, temperatures have also eased closer to average in many areas. The Southern Oscillation index remains negative, but is not currently at El Niño thresholds as occurred during spring.

Despite the general step back from El Niño levels, trade winds look likely to weaken once again in coming weeks, which in turn may bring some renewed warming of sea surface temperatures. Climate models generally indicate little significant change over the next two to three months, with warmer than average sea surface temperatures persisting in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

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