El Niño November Update: Continuing to Strengthen
Some of the highest sea surface temperatures (SST) recorded in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean in the past 25 years were measured this month. The SSTs in the the prime area for the development of El Niño conditions has risen to 85.5°F (29.7°C), about six degrees C above normal. One of the highest SST readings for the 1997-1998 El Niño season was 85°F (29.4°C).
The Climate Prediction Center uses this anomaly and others to update the three month seasonal outlook; December-January-February (DJF), affected by El Niño. The DJF 2015-2016 temperature outlook favors above normal temperatures across the North and West of the Contiguous United States, and also includes Alaska. The chances for below normal temperatures in Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico have increased. The largest change in the temperature outlook from the previous one released in October is that it is slightly less likely for the Southeast to see below normal temperatures.
The DJF 2015-2016 precipitation outlook favors above normal amounts for California, the Southwest, the central and southern Great Plains, the lower Mississippi Valley, and from the Southeast north, to southern New England. Below normal amounts are likely for parts of the Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies, and Great Lakes.
The transition from El Niño to neutral is still favored by late Spring.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Monica Cryan