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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: El Niņo Advisory      


            El Niņo is expected to continue at least into the Northern Hemisphere Spring 2010.


A moderate-to-strong El Niņo continued during February 2010, with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies exceeding 1.5°C in parts of the equatorial Pacific Ocean at the end of the month (Fig. T18).  The monthly value of the Niņo-3.4 index was +1.2°C during February (Table T2).  An oceanic Kelvin wave was initiated in early February, which acted to increase the subsurface heat content anomalies (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean), and to strengthen subsurface temperature departures (exceeding +2°C down to 100-175m) across much of the equatorial Pacific (Fig. T17). SSTs were sufficiently warm to support deep tropical convection, which strongly increased across the central and eastern tropical Pacific, while remaining suppressed over Indonesia (Fig. T25).  Equatorial low-level westerly wind anomalies also strengthened during February, while upper-level easterly wind anomalies weakened slightly (Figs. T20, T21).  Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect a moderate-to-strong El Niņo episode.

Nearly all models predict decreasing SST anomalies in the Niņo-3.4 region through 2010, with the model spread increasing at longer lead times (Figs. F1-F13).  The majority of models predict the 3-month Niņo-3.4 SST anomaly will drop below +0.5°C by May-June-July 2010, indicating a transition to ENSO-neutral conditions near the onset of Northern Hemisphere summer. However, several models suggest the potential of continued weak El Niņo conditions through 2010, while others predict the development of La Niņa conditions later in the year. Predicting when El Niņo will dissipate and what may follow remains highly uncertain. 

Weekly updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate Prediction Center homepage (El Niņo/La Niņa Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).

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Page Last Modified: March 2010
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