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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      


            La Niña is expected to gradually weaken with increasing chances (greater than 50%) for ENSO -neutral conditions during the Northern Hemisphere Spring.  


Atmospheric and oceanic conditions during February 2009 continued to reflect La Niña. Equatorial  sea surface temperatures (SST) across the central and east-central Pacific Ocean remained below-average ((Fig. T18), but weakened throughout the month.  The Niño-3.4 SST index also gradually increased, but remained cooler than −0.5°C (Table T2).  Negative subsurface oceanic heat content anomalies (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean) and temperature anomalies at thermocline depth also weakened across the eastern half of the Pacific (Fig. T17).  However, convection remained suppressed near the Date Line, and enhanced across Indonesia (Fig. T25).  Also, low-level easterly winds and upper-level westerly winds continued across the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Figs. T20 and T21).  Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies are consistent with a weakening La Niña.

While nearly all the model forecasts for the Niño-3.4 region show that La Niña will have dissipated by May – July 2009, the exact timing of the transition to ENSO -neutral conditions is uncertain (Figs. F1-F13).  The timing of the expected transition will depend on the strength of the low-level easterly wind anomalies and on how quickly the reservoir of below-average subsurface temperatures dwindles. Therefore, based on current observations, recent trends, and model forecasts, La Niña is expected to gradually weaken with increasing chances (greater than 50%) for ENSO -neutral conditions during the Northern Hemisphere Spring.


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: March 2009
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