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: Final La
conditions have returned and are favored to continue through at least the
Northern Hemisphere spring 2017.
La Niña conditions are no
longer present, with slightly below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) observed
across the central equatorial Pacific and above-average SSTs increasing in the
eastern Pacific (Fig. ). The monthly Niño index
values were -0.3°C in the Niño-3.4 region and +1.2°C in the Niño-1+2 region (Table ). The upper-ocean heat content
anomaly increased during January and was slightly positive when averaged across
the eastern Pacific, a reflection of above-average temperatures at depth (Fig. ). Atmospheric convection
remained suppressed over the central tropical Pacific and enhanced over Indonesia
(Fig. ). The low-level easterly winds
were slightly enhanced over the western tropical Pacific, and upper-level
westerly winds were near average (Fig. & Fig. ). Overall, the ocean and
atmosphere system is consistent with a transition to ENSO-neutral conditions.
models predict the continuation of ENSO-neutral (3-month average Niño-3.4 index
between -0.5°C and 0.5°C) through the Northern Hemisphere summer (Figs. F1-F13). However, a few dynamical model forecasts,
including the NCEP CFSv2, anticipate an onset of El Niño as soon as the
Northern Hemisphere spring (March-May 2017).
Because of typically high uncertainty in forecasts made at this time of
the year for the upcoming spring and summer, and the lingering La Niña-like
tropical convection patterns, the forecaster consensus favors ENSO-neutral
during the spring with a ~60% chance.
Thereafter, there are increasing odds for El Niño toward the second half
of 2017 (~50% chance in September-November).
In summary, ENSO-neutral conditions have
returned and are favored to continue through at least the Northern Hemisphere
updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate
Prediction Center homepage (El
Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).