The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) monitoring system state is “La Niña Conditions”. Cool Nino3.4 sea surface temperatures, sub-surface temperatures, and atmospheric indicators (cloudiness and wind anomalies) indicate La Niña conditions. The Nino3.4 index was -1.19°C for August 2022 and 0.99°C for the June – August 2022 three-month average.

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Models predict the La Niña conditions to continue for at least until the over of 2022.

Short lưu ý on the Indian Ocean Dipole: The Indian Ocean Dipole is in its negative phase. Models predict the negative IOD khổng lồ weaken towards the over of the year.

ENSO conditions are monitored by analysing Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs), low màn chơi winds, cloudiness (using outgoing longwave radiation), và sub-surface temperatures. Special attention is given to SSTs, as they are one of the key indicators used to monitor ENSO. Here, three different datasets are used: HadISST, ERSSTv5, and COBE datasets. As globally, SSTs have gradually warmed over the last century under the influence of climate change, the SST values over the Nino3.4 will increasingly be magnified with time, and hence appear warmer than they should be. Therefore, this background trend is removed from the SST datasets (Turkington, Timbal, và Rahmat, 2018), before calculating SST anomalies using the climatology period 1976-2014. So far, there has been no noticeable background trend in the low-level winds or cloudiness.

El Niño (La Niña) conditions are associated with warmer (colder) SSTs in the central and eastern Pacific. The threshold for an El Niño (La Niña) in the Nino3.4 region is above 0.65°C (below -0.65°C). El Niño (La Niña) conditions also correspond lớn an increase (decrease) in cloudiness around or khổng lồ the east of the international dateline (180°), with a decrease (increase) in cloudiness in the west. There is also a decrease (increase) in the trade winds in the eastern Pacific. Sub-surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific should also be warmer (colder) than average, to sustain the El Niño (La Niña) conditions.

For ENSO outlooks, information from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) & international climate centres are assessed. The centres include the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) USA, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Australia, as well as information from the International Research Institute for Climate & Society (IRI) which consolidates model outputs from other centres around the world. Each centre uses different criteria, including different SST thresholds. Therefore, variations between centres on the current ENSO state should be expected, especially when conditions are borderline.

The sea surface temperatures (SSTs) over the central and eastern tropical Pacific overall represented La Niña conditions in August 2022 (Figure 1). The SST anomalies in the Nino3.4 Region (red box, Figure 1) strengthened relative khổng lồ July 2022. A negative Indian Ocean dipole is also visible in Figure 1, with cooler than average SSTs in the western Indian Ocean and warmer than average SSTs in the eastern Indian Ocean. Most models predict the La Niña conditions to persist at least until the end of the year, while the negative Indian Ocean Dipole is predicted to weaken towards the over of the year.


Figure 1: Detrended SST anomalies for August 2022 with respect to 1976-2014 climatology using ERSST v5 data. Red (blue) shades show regions of relative warming (cooling). The tropical Pacific Ocean Nino3.4 Region is outlined in red. The Indian Ocean Dipole index is the difference between average SST anomalies over the western Indian Ocean (black solid box) và the eastern Indian Ocean (black dotted box).Looking at the Nino3.4 index in Figure 2, until April 2021, the Nino3.4 index was within the La Niña range. Between May và July 2021, the index was cooler than average, but within the neutral range, becoming borderline between La Niña & neutral conditions in August 2021. From September 2021 onwards, the 1-month Nino3.4 index was again within the La Niña range, although there was a weakening of the index in June và July 2022. La Niña conditions are considered present when the 1-month cold SST anomalies (observed or forecast) persist or are predicted lớn persist for at least four months below the threshold, along with supporting atmospheric observations.


Figure 2: The Nino3.4 index using the 1-month SST anomalies. Warm anomalies (≥ +0.65; brown) correspond khổng lồ El Niño conditions while cold anomalies (≤ -0.65; blue) correspond lớn La Niña conditions; otherwise neutral (> -0.65 and model outlooks from Copernicus C3S (Figure 3), based on the Nino3.4 SST index, show that most models predict the La Niña conditions khổng lồ persist until the end of the year. The La Niña conditions are predicted khổng lồ weaken during the start of 2023, although La Niña conditions are currently still more likely than ENSO neutral conditions for January và February 2023.


Figure 3: Forecasts of Nino3.4 index’s strength until February 2023 from various seasonal prediction models of international climate centres (image credit: Copernicus C3S).Historical ENSO VariabilityTo classify a historical El Niño event, the 3-month average Nino3.4 value must be above 0.65°C for 5 or more consecutive months. For La Niña events, the threshold is -0.65°C. Otherwise it is considered neutral. ENSO events with a peak value above 1.5°C (El Niño) or below -1.5°C (La Niña) are considered strong. Otherwise, the events are considered weak to moderate in strength. The following figure (Figure 4) shows the development of the Nino3.4 index for the most recent El Niño & La Niña events in comparison to lớn other El Niño/La Niña events.

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Figure 4: Three-month Nino3.4 index development and retreat of different El Niño (left)/La Niña (right) events since the 1960s. The most recent El Niño và La Niña events are in red & purple, respectively.Impact of El Niño/La Niña on Southeast AsiaThe typical impact of El Niño on Southeast Asia is drier-than-average rainfall conditions, including for much of the Maritime Continent during September to lớn November (Figure 5, left). Warmer temperature conditions typically follow drier periods. The opposite conditions for rainfall (and consequently temperature) are observed during La Niña years (Figure 5, right).

The impact on the region’s rainfall and temperature from ENSO events is more significantly felt during strong or moderate-intensity events. Also, no two El Niño events or two La Niña events are exactly alike in terms of their impact on the region.


Figure 5: September to lớn November (SON) season rainfall anomaly composites (mm/day) for El Niño (left) & La Niña (right) years. Brown (green) shades show regions of drier (wetter) conditions. Cảnh báo that this anomaly composite was generated using a limited number of El Niño và La Niña occurrences between 1979 and 2017 and therefore should be interpreted with caution (data: NOAA CPC CAMS_OPI).ReferencesTurkington, T., Timbal, B., và Rahmat, R. (2018). The impact of global warming on sea surface temperature based El Nino Southern Oscillation monitoring indices. International Journal of Climatology, 39(2).

El Niño/La Niña

For El Niño/La Niña updates, information provided by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) và various international climate centres are assessed. The centres include the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) USA, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Australia, as well as information from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) which consolidates model outputs from various other centres around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is El Niño/La Niña và how vì chưng they affect weather in South East Asia?

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The El Niño phenomenon is a non-regular occurrence in the tropical pacific region where warmer waters develop over the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean along the coast of South America. In South East Asia, this brings drier weather & increases the risk of forest fires & smoke haze. The La Niña phenomenon is the reverse of the El Niño where cooler waters develop over the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean along the coast of South America.

In South East Asia, higher than normal rainfall tends lớn occur during a La Niña episode which may result in an increased occurrence of floods.


Cross section of El Niño, neutral & La Niña conditions across the Tropical Pacific Ocean. (Image credit: NOAA)

The correlation between El Niño/La Niña và its associated weather impacts on South East Asia differ from one place khổng lồ another & for different seasons.


Distribution of precipitation anomalies over South East Asia (Jun – Oct) for El Niño (left) và La Niña (right) years. (Image credit: IRI Climate)

The image above shows the precipitation anomalies averaged over the El Niño và La Niña years. For instance, the impact of El Niño is typically stronger over the southern và eastern part of South East Asia during the months of Jun – Oct.