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EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO) DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION

El Nino Watch

issued by CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWS; 13 April 2023

ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Watch

El Niño Watch

After approximately two and a half years of La Niña coming to an end in March, the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) quickly transitioned to neutral conditions. However, shortly after that, above average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) have shown up in the western and eastern equatorial Pacific. In particular off the coast of Northeast Australia and the west coast of South America.

The El Niño Watch was issued because based on all of the current data, there is a 62% chance of El Niño conditions during the May through July period. As we start going into the Winter months of this year you can start to see the chances for El Niño conditions to not only persist but get stronger.

Historically, for us here in NorCal, we have rarely if ever seen above normal rain during weak El Niño events. However, once we get into the Moderate and especially Strong El Niño years we have a better chance of seeing above normal rain. Two of our strongest El Niño years (1982-83 and 1997-98) brought in well over 60 inches of rain with close to 70 inches during the 1982-83 season! The normal rain for Redding is just under 40 inches per season.

November into December of this year are the months to watch because as it stands right now we have a 66 to 67% chance of seeing a Moderate El Niño. Stay tuned.

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