The Climate Prediction Center announced Thursday that there is a 50% chance for ENSO-neutral to end and El Nino to develop during the summer or fall. ENSO-neutral is forecast to remain though spring 2014, but if westerly winds continue to emerge in the western equatorial Pacific, the development of El Nino would become more likely. However a lot of uncertainty still exists if El Nino will develop or if we’ll see ENSO-neutral remain. We’ve been in an ENSO-nuetral phase since winter 2012 and the reason for the below average precipitation for southern Oregon and northern California.
If El Nino were to develop this would bring good news to the drought stricken state of California as El Nino winters tend to bring wetter conditions to California and the Southwest. While there is uncertainty and winter is still almost a year away, there is hope that by the end of the year we could see a wetter pattern develop.