Find the full IRI ENSO and seasonal climate forecasts at iri.columbia.edu/our-expertise/climate/forecasts/.
TRANSCRIPT: There's a very good chance that we'll see El Niño development in the next couple of months. In fact, by the summer we have about a 60% chance that an El Nino of some strength will have appeared, and between 75% and 80% chance that one will have appeared by the late part of the calendar year. As for the strength, it's a little too early to tell how strong it might be. There's no guarantee it will be a strong event, or even a moderate event. It depends on the dynamics in the tropical Pacific ocean between now and around June, which is a period we commonly call the northern spring [El Niño Southern Oscillation] ENSO predicability barrier. Between around April and June the system is very fluid and small changes can end up making big differences in the outcome from ENSO. The IRI's forecasts are already picking up some precipitation effects from the expected El Niño. For example, the northern part of South America is expected to have below normal rainfall amounts, starting in the next few months and extending into the end of the calendar year. And we have the Sahel in Africa expected to have below normal rainfall with a slight tilt of the probability, we're not sure, but in the summer months. And most of all, Indonesia has a very strong probability for having below normal rainfall, already starting in the next few months and continuing toward the end of the calendar year. So although we're pretty sure we're going to have an El Niño, we don't know the strength and we also don't really know the strength of the climate impacts across the globe. We'll be watching this system very carefully over the next month or two.