A strong El Niño event continues to linger, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), but it continues to call for a transition to ENSO-neutral conditions this spring or early summer, with a possible transition to La Niña during the fall.
"Most models indicate that El Niño will weaken, with a transition to ENSO-neutral during the late spring or early summer 2016," states NOAA. "Thereafter, the chance of La Niña conditions increases into the fall. While there is both model and physical support for La Niña following strong El Niño, considerable uncertainty remains. A transition to ENSO-neutral is likely during late Northern Hemisphere spring or early summer 2016, with a possible transition to La Niña conditions during the fall."
NOAA reminds that the current strong El Niño events has produced significant global impacts and is expected to affect temperature and precipitation patterns across the U.S. during the upcoming months. "The seasonal outlooks for February (through) April indicate an increased likelihood of above-median precipitation across the southern tier of the United States, and below-median precipitation over the northern tier," it says. "Above-average temperatures are favored in the North and West, and below-average temperatures are favored in the southern Plains and along the Gulf Coast."
The National Weather Service will issue updated 30- and 90-day weather outlooks on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 a.m. CT."