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Sample Forecast for South East Asia

Summary for SE Asia

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.

Indicative of a strong El Niño, sea surface temperature (SSTs) anomalies were in excess of 2°C across the east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean during January. The Niño indices in the eastern Pacific declined, while Niño-3.4 and Niño-4 were nearly unchanged. The subsurface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific increased due to a downwelling Kelvin wave, but toward the end of the month weakened again in association with the eastward shift of below-average temperatures at depth in the central Pacific. Also, low-level westerly wind anomalies and upper-level easterly wind anomalies continued over much of the tropical Pacific. The traditional and equatorial Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values remained negative but weakened relative to last month. Convection remained much enhanced over the central and east-central tropical Pacific and suppressed over Indonesia. Collectively, these anomalies reflect the continuation of a strong El Niño.

Most models indicate that El Niño will weaken, with a transition to ENSO-neutral during the late spring or early summer 2016. 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.

ENSO events typically translate to drier than normal conditions in the northern and mainland portions of SE Asia.

March Temperature

The entire region should be moderately to unusually warmer than normal especially mainland SE Asia except northern Laos and Northern Myanmar that should be slightly cooler than normal.

March Precipitation

Much of Mainland SE Asia should be near normal to slightly wetter than normal but this remains a rather dry month with 30 year averages still less than 40 mm for much of the subregion. Dryness spreads from Manila in the Philippines to the south and west with more of the northern part of the Indonesian archipelago being drier than normal while the eastern half of the Indonesian archipelago is slightly to moderately wetter than normal. West Papua is drier than normal on the north and near normal in the south. Sumatra and Singapore and eastern and Peninsular Malaysia are drier than normal.

April Temperature

The entire region should be moderately to unusually warmer than normal especially mainland SE Asia except for Northern Myanmar that should be slightly to moderately cooler than normal.

April Precipitation

Much of Mainland SE Asia should be near normal to slightly wetter than normal with monthly rainfall now increasing historically yet southern Thailand and coastal Viet Nam remain below normal for the month. Dryness spreads from Manila in the Philippines to the south and west with more of the northern part of the Indonesian archipelago and most of Borneo being drier than normal. West Papua is drier than normal. Sumatra and Singapore and eastern and Peninsular Malaysia are drier than normal while West Java and Surabaya regions are drier than normal and east is slightly drier in some areas and slightly wetter in others.