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Sample Forecast for South East Asia

Summary for SE Asia

Synopsis: A strong El Niño is expected to gradually weaken through spring 2016, and to transition to ENSO-neutral during late spring or early summer.

A strong El Niño continued during December, with well above-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. All weekly Niño indices decreased slightly from the previous month. The subsurface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific, while still well above average, weakened due to an upwelling equatorial oceanic Kelvin wave. Significant low-level westerly wind anomalies and upper-level easterly wind anomalies continued over much of the tropical Pacific. During the last week, another westerly wind burst occurred in the east-central Pacific. The traditional and equatorial Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values remained strongly negative. Also, convection remained strong over the central and east-central tropical Pacific, and suppressed over Indonesia. Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic anomalies reflect the continuation of a strong El Niño episode.

Most models indicate that a strong El Niño will weaken with a transition to ENSO-neutral during the late spring or early summer. The forecasters are in agreement with the model consensus, though the exact timing of the transition is difficult to predict. A strong El Niño is expected to gradually weaken through spring 2016, and to transition to ENSO-neutral during late spring or early summer.

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

February Temperature

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

February Precipitation

Much of Mainland SE Asia should be near normal to slightly drier than normal but this remains a rather dry month with 30 year averages still less than 30 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.

March Temperature

The entire region should be moderately to unusually warmer than normal especially mainland SE Asia except northern Laos, Northern Viet Nam and northern Myanmar that should be slightly to moderately cooler than normal. Only the far eastern portion of the Indonesian archipelago and Western Papua should be drier than normal.

March Precipitation

Much of Mainland SE Asia should be near normal to slightly drier than normal but this remains a rather dry month with 30 year averages still less than 30 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. West Papua is drier than normal. Sumatra and Singapore and eastern and Peninsular Malaysia are drier than normal while Java and east is slightly drier in some areas and slightly wetter in others.