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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 canonical correlation analysis (CCA) forecast of SST in the central Pacific (Barnett et al. 1988, Science, 241, 192‑196; Barnston and Ropelewski 1992, J. Climate, 5, 1316‑1345), is shown in Figs. F1 and F2. This forecast is produced routinely by the Prediction Branch of the Climate Prediction Center. The predictions from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Coupled Forecast System Model (CFS03) are presented in Figs. F3 and F4a, F4b.  Predictions from the Markov model (Xue, et al. 2000: J. Climate, 13, 849‑871) are shown in Figs. F5 and F6.   Predictions from the latest version of the LDEO model (Chen et al. 2000: Geophys. Res. Let., 27, 2585‑2587) are shown in Figs. F7 and F8.  Predictions using linear inverse modeling (Penland and Magorian 1993: J. Climate, 6, 1067‑1076) are shown in Figs. F9 and F10. Predictions from the Scripps / Max Planck Institute (MPI) hybrid coupled model (Barnett et al. 1993: J. Climate, 6, 1545‑1566) are shown in Fig. F11.  Predictions from the ENSO‑CLIPER statistical model (Knaff and Landsea 1997, Wea. Forecasting, 12, 633‑652) are shown in Fig. F12.  Niño 3.4 predictions are summarized in Fig. F13, provided by the Forecasting and Prediction Research Group of the IRI.

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:  Not Active




ENSO-neutral is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014.




While remaining ENSO-neutral, January was characterized by the periodic emergence of below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the tropical Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18).  The monthly Niño Niño-3 and Niño-3.4 indices were near -0.5°C, while the Niño-4 and Niño-1+2 indices stayed within ±0.5°C (Table T2).  This recent cooling was associated with the upwelling phase of an oceanic Kelvin wave, which was reflected in a dip in the oceanic heat content and below-average subsurface temperatures across the eastern Pacific (Fig. T17). Upper and lower-level winds were near average across most of the Pacific, except for the emergence of strong westerly winds in the western part of the basin toward the end of the month (Figs. T20, T21).  Convection became more enhanced over eastern Indonesia and the western Pacific, and remained suppressed over the central equatorial Pacific (Fig. T25).  Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic conditions reflect ENSO-neutral.

Nearly all models forecast the persistence of ENSO-neutral (Niño-3.4 index between -0.5°C and 0.5°C) through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014, but afterwards, an increasing number of models suggest the possible onset of El Niño (Figs. F1-F13).  Strong surface westerly winds in the western Pacific and the slight eastward shift of above-average temperatures in the subsurface western Pacific potentially portend warming in the coming months.  However, the spring is also historically associated with lower forecast skill, so the predicted chance of El Niño developing after the spring is not much different than that of ENSO-neutral.  The consensus forecast is for ENSO-neutral to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014.

            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 2014
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