Synopsis: El Niño is expected to remain strong through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, with a transition to ENSO-neutral anticipated during late spring or early summer 2016.
A strong El Niño continued during November as indicated by well above-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. The Niño-4, Niño-3.4 and Niño-3 indices rose to their highest levels so far during this event, while the Niño-1+2 index remained approximately steady. The subsurface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific, while still well above average, decreased slightly due to the eastward push of the upwelling phase of an equatorial oceanic Kelvin wave. Low-level westerly wind anomalies and upper-level easterly wind anomalies continued over the most of the tropical Pacific. The traditional and equatorial Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values remained negative. These conditions are associated with enhanced convection over the central tropical Pacific and suppressed convection over Indonesia. Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic anomalies reflect a strong El Niño episode that has matured.
Most models indicate that a strong El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, followed by weakening and a transition to ENSO-neutral during the late spring or early summer. The forecaster consensus remains nearly unchanged from last month, with the expectation that this El Niño will rank among the three strongest episodes as measured by the 3-month SST departures in the Niño 3.4 region dating back to 1950. El Niño is expected to remain strong through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, with a transition to ENSO-neutral anticipated during the late spring or early summer 2016.
ENSO events typically translate to drier than normal conditions in India.
Much of the western two-thirds of the country should be 0.4 to 1.5 degrees C above normal. From New Delhi east through West Bengal and to Nagaland and Arunchal Pradesh temperatures should be closer to normal with the southern third of the country between 0.6 and 1.5 degrees C above normal.
Much of the southern half of the country should be 1.0 to 1.5 degrees C above normal. From New Delhi east through West Bengal and to Nagaland and Arunchal Pradesh temperatures should be closer to normal and slightly cooler than normal in the western Himalaya region.
Much of the country should be near normal. This is a relatively dry month for much of the country and anomalies are only slightly wetter for the far southwest, far northwest and far eastern states.
Much of the country should be near normal to slightly drier than normal but this is historically a very dry month over all but the northeast and far northwest of the country and possibly southern Gujarat but this is from an extremely dry monthly average and should not be a concern. This is a relatively dry month for much of the country and anomalies are only slightly wetter for the far northeast and northwest.