The hovering in ENSO-neutral conditions continues, with the climate prediction center saying there is a slightly greater than 50% chance of La Niña developing during the next couple of months.
The spread of the recent model forecasts range from ENSO-neutral to La Niña, with a majority of dynamical models indicating a more immediate transition to La Niña. However, over the last several months, the dynamical models have consistently predicted a stronger and more rapid cooling than has actually occurred. In contrast, a majority of the statistical models indicate a continuation of ENSO-neutral conditions, but some forecast weak La Niña conditions during the fall or winter. When considered collectively, recent atmospheric conditions and model forecasts suggest a slightly greater than 50% chance of La Niña developing during the next couple of months. Historically, the early fall season (August-September-October) has been a critical period for the onset of La Niña events.
The refresher: here in the southwestern United States, La Niña tends toward dry winters.