CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE 2015-16 EL NIÑO
An El Niño of surprising intensity developed in 2015-16, affecting patterns of weather variability worldwide. The event rivaled the 1997-98 El Niño, the strongest on record, in its magnitude and impacts. It was preceded in early 2014 by basin scale warming that was widely expected to develop into a full-fledged El Niño, but which unexpectedly died; and it has been followed by the onset of La Niña-like cold conditions in mid-2016. This presentation will describe the oceanic and atmospheric processes that gave rise to the El Niño, how well the event was predicted by various forecasting centers, and how the evolution of conditions in the tropical Pacific during 2014-16 challenge current understanding of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle.