Synopsis: A transition to ENSO-neutral is likely during late Northern Hemisphere spring or early summer 2016, with close to a 50 percent chance for La Niña conditions to develop by the fall.
Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies decreased across most of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during February. The latest Niño-3.4 and Niño-3 weekly values were near 2°C, while the Niño-4 and Niño-1+2 indices were 1°C and 1.4°C respectively. The subsurface temperature anomalies in the central and eastern Pacific decreased substantially in association with the eastward shift of below-average temperatures at depth. Low-level westerly wind anomalies and upper-level easterly wind anomalies continued, but were weaker relative to January. The traditional and equatorial Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) remained strongly negative. In addition, convection was much enhanced over the central and east-central tropical Pacific and suppressed over parts of Indonesia and northern Australia. Collectively, these anomalies reflect the continuation of a strong El Niño.
All models indicate that El Niño will weaken, with a transition to ENSO-neutral likely 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 a strong El Niño, considerable uncertainty remains. A transition to ENSO-neutral is likely during late Northern Hemisphere spring or early summer 2016, with close to a 50 percent chance for La Niña conditions to develop by the fall.
ENSO events typically translate to drier than normal conditions in the northern and mainland portions of SE Asia.
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.
Much of Mainland SE Asia should be slightly to moderately drier than normal except for northern Myanmar that should be near normal to slightly wetter than normal. 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.