CPC and the contributors to the Forecast Forum caution potential users of
this predictive information that they can expect only modest skill.
Alert System Status: El
El Niņo is expected to
continue at least into the Northern Hemisphere Spring 2010.
significant El Niņo persisted throughout the equatorial
during January 2010 (Fig. T18). Although sea surface
temperature (SST) departures in the Niņo-3.4 region decreased to +1.6°C in
January, SSTs continued to be sufficiently warm to support deep tropical
convection (Table T2). Over the last several months, a series of oceanic Kelvin waves
contributed to the build-up of heat content anomalies in the central and eastern
Pacific. The latest Kelvin wave was
associated with temperature departures exceeding +2°C down to 150m depth across
the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific (Fig. T17).
Equatorial convection over the central Pacific remained enhanced during
the month, while convection over
exhibited considerable week-to-week variability (Fig. T25).
While the low-level winds have been variable, low-level westerly and
upper-level easterly wind anomalies generally prevailed during January (Figs.
T20, T21). Collectively,
these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect a strong and mature El Niņo
all models predict decreasing SST anomalies in the Niņo-3.4 region through
2010, and model spread increases at longer lead times (Figs. F1-F13). Nearly
half of the models indicate the 3-month Niņo-3.4 SST anomaly will drop below
+0.5°C around April-May-June 2010, indicating a transition to ENSO-neutral
conditions during Northern Hemisphere spring. However, predicting the timing of
this transition is highly uncertain.
updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate
Niņo/La Niņa Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).