How’s that whole “El Niño” thing workin’ out for ya?

Here in the Southwestern United States, we loves us some hot, hot El Niño action. Warm up that equatorial Pacific, and before you know it, ZAM, we’re being pelted with snowflakes and having to shovel our driveways with those wussy regular shovels desert dwellers use. (True story: I actually have a real snow shovel. Lissa bought it for me a few years ago. I tried to use it once, but I felt really silly. There was very little snow.)

The current Climate Prediction Center outlook does not look promising for my shovel. After seeing signs of a brewing El Niño, the CPCers are now trotting out the dreaded “neutral” word:

Compared to the past few months, the chance is reduced for El Niño to develop during Northern Hemisphere fall/winter 2012-13 (see CPC/IRI consensus forecast). Due to the recent slowdown in the development of El Niño, it is not clear whether a fully coupled El Niño will emerge. The majority of models indicate that borderline ENSO-neutral/ weak El Niño conditions will continue, and about half suggest that El Niño could develop, but remain weak (Fig. 7). The official forecast therefore favors the continuation of borderline ENSO-neutral/ weak El Niño conditions into Northern Hemisphere winter 2012-13, with the possibility of strengthening during the next few months.