CPC and the contributors to the Forecast Forum caution potential users of
this predictive information that they can expect only modest skill.
Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory
Niña is expected to gradually weaken with increasing chances (greater than 50%)
-neutral conditions during the Northern Hemisphere Spring.
and oceanic conditions during February 2009 continued to reflect La Niña.
Equatorial sea surface temperatures
(SST) across the central and east-central
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
Also, low-level easterly winds and upper-level westerly winds continued
across the equatorial
Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies are consistent with
a weakening La Niña.
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
-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
-neutral conditions during the Northern
updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate
Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).