Increasing chances of El Niño by year end

ENSO-neutral is favored through September-November 2018, with the possibility of El Niño nearing 50% by Northern Hemisphere winter 2018-19
May 10, 2018

Climate model forecasts for the Niño3.4 Index, from the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME). Darker purple envelope shows the range of 68% of all model forecasts; lighter purple shows the range of 95% of all model forecasts. NOAA image from CPC data.

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral, with neither El Niño nor La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

As the fall and winter approaches, many models indicate an increasing chance for El Niño. NOAA reports forecaster consensus hedges in the direction of El Niño as the winter approaches, but given the considerable uncertainty in ENSO forecasts made at this time of year, the probabilities for El Niño are below 50%.

Australian government meterologists predict that although international models suggest the tropical Pacific Ocean will warm slowly over the coming months, it will remain ENSO-neutral for the southern hemisphere winter. Only one of eight climate models suggest sea surface temperatures may approach El Niño thresholds by September; the rest maintain ENSO-neutral.