The latest update and forecast update on the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) from the U.S. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center suggests that the current 2015 El Niño could be among the very strongest on record.
In July the NOAA forecast said that it was likely that El Niño conditions would be stronger and last longer, giving it an 80% chance that it will persist into Spring 2016.
At the latest update yesterday, the NOAA has again increased the likelihood of the 2015 El Niño being strong and long lasting, with a greater than 90% chance that it will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter of 2015-16, and an 85% chance it will last into early spring 2016.
The NOAA explains the El Niño forecast outlook:
All models surveyed predict El Niño to continue into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2016, and all multi-model averages predict a strong event at its peak in late fall/early winter (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index of +1.5oC or greater.
At this time, the forecaster consensus unanimously favors a strong El Niño, with peak 3-month SST departures in the Niño 3.4 region potentially near or exceeding +2.0oC. Overall, there is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 85% chance it will last into early spring 2016.
The impacts from El Niño are already being felt in regions such as South America, where there have been a number of severe flooding and rainfall events in recent weeks, as well as in the record start to the Pacific typhoon and tropical season.
For the United States, the temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are expected to remain minimal during the rest of the summer, but increase into the late autumn and winter. Higher than normal precipitation and above average temperatures would normally be expected.
The stronger the El Niño gets and the longer it lasts the greater the chances of impact all around the world. However the actual impacts do depend on other atmospheric and meteorological factors, making predictions very hard for scientists.
The stronger the El Niño conditions are, typically the clearer cut the impacts are typically expected to be around the globe, which could exacerbate the potential for any El Niño related hit to insurance and reinsurance markets, agriculture and other exposed sectors.
As the forecast consensus becomes increasingly focused on a strong, perhaps almost record, El Niño and a long-lasting one, the potential for it to impact insurance and reinsurance markets grows. It also has ramifications for the weather risk markets, where transactions could be exposed to greater rainfall or temperature anomalies.