Current ENSO Information
18 September 2003
Overall conditions in the tropical Pacific are currently near-neutral.
Based on the latest observations and forecasts, there is a high likelihod
that near-neutral conditions will continue through the remainder of 2003
and into the first few months of 2004.
Overall, near-neutral conditions are now observed in the equatorial
Pacific. The below average ocean temperatures that developed in the central
and eastern equatorial Pacific during May and early June returned to near
average by July. Currently, slightly below average temperatures are confined
to the far eastern tropical Pacific, average temperatures are observed
in the east-central and central Pacific, and above average temperatures
extend from the dateline westward.
Out of a large set of dynamical and statistical forecast models, the
majority predict near-average sea surface temperatures to continue, although
a few models suggest slightly warmer than average conditions. (Note
1). Overall, based on model forecasts and current observations of the
ocean surface and subsurface, the chances for development of El Niño
or La Niña conditions are believed to be less than those of an average
year (i.e. less than 25%), and the chances for neutral conditions greater
than those of an average year (i.e. greater than 50%).
In summary, current observations and model forecasts suggest that ocean
conditions will most likely remain near neutral during the remainder of
2003 and into early 2004.
Note 1 - Only models that produce a
new ENSO forecast every month are included in the above statement.
Top of Page