Inching toward El Niño

Today’s ENSO outlook (El Niño Southern Oscillation) suggests a consensus among “the models” that the odds are tipping toward an El Niño for the coming summer and fall. The humans in the loop are more bearish:

The most recent IRI plume favors ENSO-neutral to continue through the spring, with El Niño forming during summer 2023 and persisting through the fall. In contrast, the forecaster consensus favors ENSO-neutral through summer 2023, with elevated chances of El Niño developing afterwards. The smaller chances of El Niño relative to the model predictions are primarily because ENSO forecasts made during the spring are less accurate, and also the tropical Pacific atmosphere is still fairly consistent with a cool/La Niña-like state. However, it is possible that strong warming near South America may portend a more rapid evolution toward El Niño and will be closely monitored. In summary, La Niña has ended and ENSO-neutral conditions are expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring and early summer 2023.

Reminder: El Niño tips the odds toward wet along the southern tier of U.S. states – meaning the Rio Grande and lower reaches of the Colorado River basin(s). The upper reaches of the Colorado River basin are meh. And note “tips the odds”, a reminder that echoes through my typing fingers as I hear the voice of the late great Kelly Remond every time I write about this. See: Southern California’s cabin-crusher of a snowpack after a La Niña winter – ENSO tips the odds, but is no guarantee.

As always, a huge thanks to my supporters for helping make this work possible.