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
ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Watch
There is an
approximately 50-60% chance of El Niño within the late Northern Hemisphere
winter and early spring, with ENSO-neutral slightly favored thereafter.
sea surface temperatures (SST) remained above average in the western and
central Pacific during January 2015 and cooled across the eastern Pacific (Fig.
Accordingly, the monthly Niño indices were +0.5°C in the Niño-3.4 region,
+0.9°C in the Niño-4 region, +0.4°C in the Niño-3 region, and -0.4°C in the
Niño-1+2 region (Table T2). Subsurface temperature anomalies across the
eastern half of the equatorial Pacific also averaged near zero during the month. However, an extensive area of positive
subsurface anomalies persisted near the Date Line, while negative anomalies
were prevalent closer to the surface east of 110°W (Fig. T17). During
the last couple of weeks of January, several aspects of the tropical Pacific
atmosphere showed some movement toward El Niño.
However, for the month as a whole, the equatorial low-level winds were
mostly near average across the Pacific (Fig. T13), while upper-level easterly anomalies continued in
the east-central Pacific (Fig. T21). Also, convection remained below average near
the Date Line and enhanced in the western equatorial Pacific (Fig. T25). While the
tropical Pacific Ocean is at the borderline of El Niño, the overall
atmosphere-ocean system remains ENSO-neutral.
Similar to last month,
most models predict a weak El Niño (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index
between 0.5°C and 0.9°C) during the Northern Hemisphere late winter and spring
(Figs. F1-F13). The forecaster
consensus also favors Niño-3.4 SST index values in excess of 0.5°C within the
coming season. However,
climatologically, ocean-atmosphere coupling tends to weaken into the spring,
which increases uncertainty over whether El Niño conditions will emerge. In summary, there is an approximately 50-60%
chance of El Niño within the late Northern Hemisphere winter and early spring,
with ENSO-neutral slightly favored thereafter.
updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate
Prediction Center homepage (El
Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).