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The Island Climate Update

El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

  • Moderate La Niña conditions continued in the tropical Pacific during December 2020.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Pacific remained cooler than average during December but increased slightly.
  • The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was +1.6 in December (in the La Niña range). The 3-month average SOI was +0.9.
  • 92% Chance for ENSO NEUTRAL conditions during April-June 2021.
  • 66% chance for La Niña conditions continuing during January-March 2021.

Rainfall and Drought Watch

January - March 2021 rainfall forecast
  • Southern Cook Islands: Normal or above normal rainfall is forecast over the next 3 months.
  • Northern Cook Islands: Potential high water stress due to the below or well below normal rainfall experienced over 5 of the past 6 months. Below normal rainfall is forecast over the next 3 months.