TEXAS - There's an even better chance El Niño might officially be at play by winter according to experts at NOAA.
In a report released on Thursday from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, odds bumped up from the previous forecast of 70-75 percent to now a higher 80 percent chance for weak El Niño conditions by winter.
The El Niño phenomenon is characterized by warmer-than-normal Pacific waters near the equator.
During the month of October, we watched sea surface temperatures along the entire equatorial region of the Pacific basin warm notably.
In some areas, water temperatures are pushing up to around 1 to 1.5 degrees above normal, and they continuing to climb.
An ensemble of forecast models show a likely peak in this El Niño episode likely during the November to February time frame, which lines up with meteorological winter.
NOAA's criteria stipulates that, in order for a true El Niño to be present, the sea surface temps have to be at or above half a degree warmer than normal for at least three consecutive months.
For Texas, El Niño historically brings wetter-than-normal and warmer-than-normal weather during the winter season.
The forecast shows a 60 percent chance the El Niño might continue all the way into next spring.