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.

El Niño and La Niña conditions occur when abnormally warm or cool waters accumulate in tropical latitudes of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. The Oceanic Nino Index is the tool NOAA scienitsts use to watch for these temperature changes. 

El Niño is a global phenomenon. Guest blogger Dr. Andrew Watkins shines some light on El Niño's impact across the world in Australia.

“El Niño is Strong!” “No, it’s Moderate!” “But the [insert your favorite ENSO indicator here] is the largest it’s been since the El Niño of 1997-98!”

reason for the spring barrier

Why is it so difficult to make a good ENSO prediction during the Northern Hemisphere spring? 

You're not the only one wondering if we will see El Niño grow or continue into this coming winter 2015.  How useful are March winds and subsurface temperatures across the tropical Pacific Ocean in predicting winter El Niño or La Niña states?  

ENSO model forecasts thumbnail

The model predictions during 2014 were not that shabby.  A major, strong El Niño was not well justified by the predictions.