El Niño continues to strengthen. Recent oceanic and atmospheric indicators are at levels not seen since the 1997–98 El Niño. Persistently weak or reversed trade winds and a strongly negative Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), in conjunction with the ongoing warming in the tropical Pacific Ocean, indicate the El Niño is unlikely to end before early 2016.|
Climate models indicate sea surface temperatures in the central tropical Pacific are likely to rise further over the next few months, coming close to, or possibly exceeding, monthly values observed during the 1997–98 event. All models suggest the event will peak around the end of the year, followed by rapid weakening heading into autumn 2016. It is too early to accurately determine the likely pattern beyond autumn, but a continued El Niño is considered the least likely outcome at this stage.