A relationship between timing of El Niño onset and subsequent evolution

Takanori Horii, Kimio Hanawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


A relationship between the timing of El Niño onset and the subsequent evolution is examined, using 130-year long time series of Niño-3.4 index from 1871 to 2000. It is found that El Niño events can be classified into two major types: one is the onset of which is from April to June (spring type) and the other is from July to October (summer-fall type). Here, the duration of El Niño is defined as the period when the 5-month running mean anomaly of Niño-3.4 index is exceeding 0.5°C. As a result, 24 El Niño events are identified, and classified into 10 spring type events and 14 summer-fall type events. In general, spring type events grow greater in magnitude, and take the mature phase around a boreal winter and the evolution is relatively regular. On the contrary, summer-fall type events are relatively weaker in magnitude, and have rather irregular aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L06304 1-4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Mar 28
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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