AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Last week, the Climate Prediction Center published an ENSO Diagnostic Discussion stating we have a great chance of El Niño forming and persisting into the winter.

At this time we are neither in El Niño nor the La Niña, we are in a phase called ENSO-neutral which means El Niño-Southern Oscillation. It is a climate pattern that involves changes in the temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

The Climate Prediction Center said the transition from ENSO-Neutral is expected in the next couple of months, with a greater than 90% chance of El Niño to persist into the northern hemisphere winter.

Just last month, ENSO-neutral conditions were expected to continue through spring and followed by a 62% chance for El Niño to take over during the months of May through June of 2023. Now as of May, that confidence in chances have increased.

“Confidence is increasing that we will be transitioning to El Niño through the summer and continuing into the winter months,” said National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Joanne Culin.

According to the CPC, the combination of a forecasted third westerly wind event in mid to late-May and high levels of above average oceanic heat content, means that a potentially significant El Niño is on the horizon.

With this update in mind, we can continue to expect an increase in rainfall amounts during the summer and then an increase of winter precipitation as we head into the winter months.

For the latest Amarillo news and regional updates, check with and tune in to KAMR Local 4 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. and Fox 14 News at 9:00 p.m. CST.