NOAA released its weekly update on the status of the whole La Nina/El Nino cycle Monday, and are sticking with the recent forecast that neutral conditions are going to remain through November, but it's 50/50 whether we'll then stay neutral or go toward La Nina.
But other signs remain that La Nina's odds might soon trend a bit higher and with it, the odds of another cooler and wetter than normal fall and winter.
* The current temperature anomaly in the area of the Pacific Ocean where La Nina/El Nino's average is calculated is currently at -0.6C, after reading -0.7C last week. A La Nina reading is considered anything below -0.5C, but to be classified as a true La Nina event, the running three-month average has to average -0.5C or lower for three consecutive months -- as in a May-June-July would be one period, then June-July-August would be a second -- get three of those in a row under -0.5C and it's a La Nina.
The last running average posted in May-June-July and it was smack dab average at 0.0C difference so we are officially neutral at the moment. That comes off a -0.2C reading for April-May-June. But the trend is heading down and it'll be interesting to see when the June-July-August number gets posted whether it is trending negative again -- an ominous sign of La Nina if so.
And check out this graph, which shows the trend of the past year, also suggesting a cooling trend.
* A spread of 25 forecast models still have a majority predicting neutral conditions, but more are starting to lean toward La Nina starting in November. The July spread had just four predicting averages of -0.5C or lower, but in August, now eight models are predicting -0.5C or lower starting in November.
* Another new "Climate Forecast System" model that was built and put into action in March, with predicting the El Nino cycle in mind, is solidly predicting La Nina conditions -- some of its forecasts even have it on par to perhaps even a little stronger than last winter's version.
* Some of the longer 30 and 90 day forecasts are beginning to believe it as well. The latest versions issued a little earlier this month are now predicting a better chance of a wetter than normal autumn, and a better than even chance of a wetter and cooler than normal winter - both hallmarks of La Nina:
90 day forecast for September, October and November:
90 day forecast for January, February and March:
So while officially, NOAA is sticking with neutral through November, then "50/50 neutral or La Nina", if I were betting, I'd perhaps put my chips down on the La Nina's side.