The Little El Niño That Didn’t or Might Have (Depends on the Agency and Index)

It appears we were right to close out the 2014-15 El Niño Series last week.  NINO1+2, NINO3, and NINO3.4 region weekly sea surface temperature anomalies are below the +0.5 deg C threshold of El Niño conditions, and the NINO4 region temperatures are getting closer to the threshold.

Figure 1

Figure 1

The NINO3.4 (5S-5N, 170W-120W) sea surface temperature anomalies haven’t remained elevated long enough for this season to register as an El Niño on the NOAA Oceanic NINO Index (ONI).

The JMA uses NINO3 region (5S-5N, 150W-90W) sea surface temperature anomalies as their reference. According to the JMA webpage here:

JMA defines that the El Niño (La Niña) is such that the 5-month running mean SST deviation for NINO.3 continues +0.5ºC (-0.5ºC) or higher (lower) for six consecutive months or longer.

Right now, the 5-month running mean of NINO3 sea surface temperature anomalies has been above 0.5 deg C for 5 months.  We’ll have to wait until the January data are posted to find out if JMA considers an El Niño took place in 2014.

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
This entry was posted in 2014-15 El Nino Series, ENSO Update. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Little El Niño That Didn’t or Might Have (Depends on the Agency and Index)

  1. skeohane says:

    Thanks for keeping us on top this and all your posts.

  2. Thanks, Bob. Your work is much better than an index.
    I think this was the monster El Niño that never was anything like that; The MEI never reached to 1 for 2014, while it rose to 3 in 1998.

  3. Pingback: On the Biases Caused by Omissions in the 2014 NOAA State of the Climate Report | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  4. Daryl M says:

    Bob, Thank you for your efforts. Your website is top notch. One thing that would be really beneficial would be for the graphs where a certain threshold is indicative of el nino or la nina conditions, if you would put a reference line on the chart accordingly.

  5. Bob Tisdale says:

    Hi Daryl. In the future, I’ll try to remember to add the +0.5 deg threshold for El Nino conditions and -0.5 deg C threshold of La Nina conditions.


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