By Bob Henson
Published: 8:31 PM GMT on June 11, 2015
The latest updates from NOAA (see PDF) and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology confirm that the El Niño event that began in earnest this spring continues to build. NOAA reports that sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the closely watched Niño3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific were 1.2°C above average last week, well into the range associated with moderate El Niño events (+1.0°C to +1.5°C).
Based on another marker, the Multivariate ENSO Index, this El Niño event is already into the “strong” category.
All of the Niño monitoring regions had SSTs of at least 1.2°C above average last week, making for the most widespread oceanic warmth since the landmark El Niño event of 1997–98.
Policymakers and investors are already taking note of the potential implications of the intensifying El Niño for agriculture and the economy.