ENSO-neutral conditions are expected to prevail
during the next 3 months.
The current patterns of anomalous ocean
temperatures are consistent with ENSO-neutral conditions in the tropical
Pacific. During May 2006 SSTs were
near average at most locations between the date line (180º) and 90ºW (Fig.
1), which is reflected in the near zero departures observed in all of
the Niño regions (Fig. 2). During the month above-average precipitation
(negative OLR anomalies, Fig. 3, top panel) was observed over portions of
Indonesia and extreme northeastern Australia, while below-average precipitation (positive OLR anomalies) was observed
over most of the equatorial Pacific. Low-level (850-hPa) and upper-level
(200-hPa) winds over the tropical Pacific were near average during the month
(Fig. 3, middle and bottom panels). Beginning in February the basin-wide
upper ocean heat content increased, and since early April positive anomalies
have been observed (Fig. 4). Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic
features indicate ENSO-neutral conditions.
the statistical and coupled models predict ENSO-neutral conditions in the
tropical Pacific through the end of 2006 (Fig. 5). However, the spread of these forecasts
(weak La Niña to weak El Niño) indicates considerable uncertainty in the outlook for the last
half of the year.
This discussion is a consolidated effort of NOAA and its funded institutions. Weekly updates for
SST, 850-hPa wind, OLR and features of the equatorial subsurface thermal structure are available on the Climate
Prediction Center web page at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov (Weekly Update). Forecasts for the evolution of El Niño/La Niña are updated monthly in the
Forecast Forum section of CPC's Climate
Diagnostics Bulletin. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for
July 2006. To receive
an e-mail notification when the monthly ENSO Diagnostic Discussions are released, please send an e-mail