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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: Final La Niña Advisory




ENSO-neutral 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. T18). 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 T2). 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. T17). Atmospheric convection remained suppressed over the central tropical Pacific and enhanced over Indonesia (Fig. T25). The low-level easterly winds were slightly enhanced over the western tropical Pacific, and upper-level westerly winds were near average (Fig. T20 & Fig. T21). Overall, the ocean and atmosphere system is consistent with a transition to ENSO-neutral conditions.

Most 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 spring 2017.

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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