El Nino no certainty

El Nino appeared to be all but a sure thing a few months back, and while above-normal warming still is likely over a large area of the tropical Pacific, it is no sure thing.

Today’s weekly update from the Climate Prediction Center sees a 65 percent likelihood of El Nino during the fall and winter, down from 80 percent two weeks ago.

If it does happen, be “weak” or “low moderate,” said Anthony Barnston, scientist at the International Research Institute, affiliated with Columbia University.

“It might not show up until September,” he added. IRI’s forecast has a peak probability of 66 percent for the November-December-January period. The probablity was above 80 in the June outlook.

In its most recent summary, IRI said that among the computer models, “a strong El Niño is not favored …  and slightly more models call for a weak event rather than a moderate event.”

In the Monday climate center report, the sea-surface temperatures in the key El Nino region were dead-on normal.

As we’ve observed, Atlantic and Gulf Coast residents and property owners should root for El Nino, since it can have a weakening effect on the Atlantic Basin hurricane season.

In the short term, however, evidently they won’t be needing much help from El Nino. All remains quiet in tropical Atlantic Ocean and Gulf.

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