The 2014/15 El Niño – Is the El Niño Dying ?
THEN AND NOW
The chatter about a possible El Niño for the 2014/15 season skyrocketed in April this year. It was based on the strong Kelvin wave that had traveled east across the equatorial Pacific. Due to the strength of that Kelvin wave, some ENSO researchers and laypeople started proclaiming a super El Niño was on the way, but the feedbacks needed to turn this El Niño into a super El Niño, like the one in 1997/98, failed to develop. That is, after the westerly wind bursts that initiated the Kelvin wave this year, the trade winds have not weakened to further help the development on the El Niño. The researchers have since cut back on their estimates of the size of the El Niño, and the models are still predicting a remote chance an El Niño will not continue to develop this year. All depends on the trade winds, which may not cooperate…and so far they have not.
Without more westerly wind bursts and a weakening of the trade winds in the western equatorial Pacific, the warm water in the eastern equatorial Pacific will continue to decline, and we could very possibly have another ENSO-neutral year.
Look carefully at the beginning of the animation ( 1st half of April ) and note how the typhoon then spinning off the coast of central America, pulled heat off the surface seawater.
Thanks to Bob Tisdale