Goodbye La Nina … Hello ENSO Neutral

How does this affect us here on the East Coast of Mexico? Well, during La Nina when the waters are cooler, we generally do not get a lot of rain and experience drought-like conditions in many areas. I know what I personally recorded last year and it was a dismal amount which I was actually pleased with (a story for another time). The same could be said for El Nino during the summer months. This link shows what my personal weather station recorded for 2022

What you are really here to know I presume, is how it affects hurricane season. Please keep reading and I’ll summarize it as we go.

RANDOM … My readers are FAST readers! The average time so far reading this blog entry is 8 seconds. 😂 I’ll have to work on that. I think I might be getting a tad. … boring. 🤷‍♀️

NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has observed “normal” SST’s (Sea Surface Temperatures) in a lengthy discussion prepared by the Climate Prediction Center (NCEP).

El Niño: characterized by a positive ONI greater than or equal to +0.5oC. La Niña: characterized by a negative ONI less than or equal to -0.5oC.

By historical standards, to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode, these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons.

CPC considers El Niño or La Niña conditions to occur when the monthly Niño3.4 OISST departures meet or exceed +/- 0.5oC along with consistent atmospheric features. These anomalies must also be forecasted to persist for 3 consecutive months.

Red signifies El Niño conditions, blue La Niña, and grey neutral. It is split into three month periods. So for example, JFM is January/February/March.

So instead of the cooler below average sea surface water temperature we’ve had since 2020 we now have what they consider normal.

The ENSO Neutral conditions are expected to last through Spring into early Summer.

“ENSO-neutral is expected to persist through the Northern Hemisphere early summer 2023. A transition to El Niño is favored by July-September 2023, with chances of El Niño increasing through the fall.”

So to answer the presumed question, “how does the ENSO affect hurricane season?” During La Nina cycles, the East Pacific Ocean generally sees less hurricane activity, and the Atlantic Ocean experiences an increase. If the ENSO-Neutral changes to El Nino mid-summer, those of us on the East Pacific side will generally see more hurricanes often which will also be stronger, and the Atlantic Ocean normally will have a milder hurricane season.

Just because we might move into El Nino this year, isn’t a reason to panic. Most storms stay well offshore and regardless of the ENSO cycle, or how many storms are forecast and are actually produced, the East Pacific Ocean is very large, and the Mexican coastline is 4,560 miles give or take.

As always regardless of the SST’s, it’s never too soon to start your hurricane prep list, and even though it’s 2 months away from hurricane season, it’s also never too early to slowly replenish your non-perishables. Why wait? Get it over with is my motto. Figure out your needs, make your lists, and every time you shop pick up a thing or two and it won’t be a sticker shock.

It’s the neutral “seasons” I’m always weary of, by the way.

Anywhooooo, may the mountains get rain and my home gets not a drop.


Just Jenn

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