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ENSO Forecast Discussion

ENSO and SST Model Forecasts

Canonical Correlation Model
Nino 3.4 Region: Historical  F1
Nino 3.4 Region: 0-4 Season  F2

NCEP Coupled Model
Eq. Pac. SST & Anomalies  F3
Nino 3 & Nino 3.4 Region  F4

NCEP Markov Model
Eq. Pac. SST & Anomalies  F5
Nino 3.4 Region  F6

LDEO Model
Eq. Pac. SST & Wind Stress Anoms  F7
Nino 3 Region  F8

Linear Inverse Modeling
Global Tropical SST Anomalies  F9
Nino 3.4 Region: Historical  F10

Scripps/MPI Hybrid Coupled Model
Eq. Pac. SST & Anomalies  F11

All Nino Regions & SOI  F12

IRI Compilation of Forecasts
Nino3.4 Region  F13

Forecast Forum


Forecast Forum

The CPC and the contributors to the Forecast Forum caution potential users of this predictive information that they can expect only modest skill.

ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory      


            ENSO-Neutral or La Niña conditions are equally likely during May-June 2011.


La Niña persisted during January 2011 as reflected by well below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across much of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18).  However, some weakening was evident in certain atmospheric and oceanic anomalies, in part due to Madden-Julian Oscillation activity.  Most Niño indices were between –1.4°C and –1.7°C for the month, with the easternmost Niño-1+2 region warming to –0.7°C (Table T2).  A lessening of the negative subsurface oceanic heat content anomalies (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean) was observed mostly in association with an eastward shift in the above-average temperatures at depth in the central equatorial Pacific (Fig. T17).  Convection remained enhanced over Indonesia and suppressed over the western and central equatorial Pacific (Fig. T25).  Also over the western and central equatorial Pacific, the anomalous low-level easterly and upper-level westerly winds decreased in magnitude (Figs. T20, T21).  Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect an ongoing, mature La Niña that has begun to weaken. 

Nearly all of the ENSO model forecasts weaken La Niña in the coming months (Figs. F1-F13).  A majority of the models predict a return to ENSO-neutral conditions by May-June-July 2011, although some models persist a weaker La Niña into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2011.  Recent trends in the observations and models do not offer many hints on which outcome is more likely.  Also, model skill is historically at a minimum during the Northern Hemisphere spring (the “spring barrier”).  Therefore La Niña is expected to weaken during the next several months, with ENSO-neutral or La Niña conditions equally likely during May-June 2011. 

Weekly updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate Prediction Center homepage (El Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).

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Page Last Modified: February 2011
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