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Three-In-Four Chance of 2014 El Nino Says Research

12.02.2014 07:50 Age: 3 yrs

New research published this week suggests a three-in-four chance of an El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event beginning in late 2014. Meanwhile the Australian Bureau of Meteorology says the current status of the so called El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is neutral but that there are some signs of El Nino activity. A major El Nino event this year could significantly increase global average surface temperatures and affect the so called pause in global warming.

Click to enlarge. Southern Oscillation Index. Courtesy: BOM.

Click to enlarge. Computer models forecast a warming of the Pacific Ocean which is consistent with the network analysis prediction of the new research. Courtesy: BOM


News research using network analysis techniques suggests a three-in-four chance that an El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event will take place later this year.


The research, published this week in the scientific journal proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was completed in September 2013 and claims to have developed a mechanism for predicting El Ninos around a year out compared with more conventional forecasting techniques which achieve a six-month warning.







Here is the text of the BOM report:

ENSO expected to remain neutral at least through autumn

Issued on Tuesday 11 February 2014 



In the last fortnight, a westerly wind event over the far western tropical Pacific led to some warming beneath the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean, though surface temperatures remain close to average. The current high values of the SOI are expected to reduce as recent volatile weather near Darwin and Tahiti eases.

The Indian Ocean Dipole is typically too weak to have a significant influence on the Australian climate from December to April.


Monthly sea surface temperatures



Weekly sea surface temperatures


During January, much of southern Australia experienced extreme heat, which contributed to warming of much of the surface waters to the south of Australia.


Monthly sub-surface sea temperatures


Weekly sub-surface sea temperatures


Southern Oscillation Index

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has dropped slightly after continuing to rise over the past two weeks, though this is thought to be largely due to short term local weather variations rather than larger scale climate shifts. It is expected to decrease over the next fortnight, as large daily values drop out of the 30-day average. The latest approximate 30-day SOI value to 9 February is +13.0.




Trade winds

Trade winds have returned to near-average strength across the far western tropical Pacific and are now near-average along the entire equator (see anomaly map for the 5 days ending 9 February).




Cloudiness near the Date Line

Cloudiness near the Date Line has generally been slightly below average since early January and remained so over the past two weeks.




Climate Models




Indian Ocean Dipole



Climate models surveyed in the model outlooks favour neutral IOD values over the coming months. The IOD is typically not an active influence on Australian climate during summer and early autumn. During this time of year, establishment of negative or positive IOD patterns is largely inhibited by the development and position of the monsoon trough in the southern hemisphere.


Here is the abstract and citation for the PNAS paper:







Read abstract and get the paper here


BOM ENSO Wrap Up here