Currently, the risk of regional-scale tornado outbreaks is predictable only about 7 days in advance. But NOAA scientists report that sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific may provide a month or more of advance warning of an elevated risk for tornado outbreaks.
A strong El Niño continued during December 2015 with well above average sea surface temperatures across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, according to NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s monthly El Niño advisory update.
The globally averaged sea surface temperature in 2013 was among the 10 highest on record, with the North Pacific reaching an historic high temperature. ENSO-neutral conditions and a negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation pattern had the largest impacts on global sea surface temperature in 2013.