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.
The disruptions of tropical Pacific sea surface temperature and rainfall that occur during the climate pattern called "ENSO" trigger a cascade of global side effects. These maps show how El Niño and La Niña affect seasonal climate around the world.
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.