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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:  El Niño Watch




ENSO-neutral is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014, with about a 50% chance of El Niño developing during the summer or fall.




ENSO-neutral continued during February 2014, with below-average sea surface temperatures (SST) continuing in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and above-average SSTs increasing near the International Date Line (Fig. T18).  Overall, the Niño indices remained less than -0.5°C, except for the westernmost Niño-4 region (Table T2).  A significant downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave increased the oceanic heat content and produced large positive subsurface temperature anomalies across the central and east-central Pacific (Fig. T17).  In addition, toward the end of the month, a strong low-level westerly wind burst re-appeared over the western equatorial Pacific.  Convection was suppressed over western Indonesia and the central equatorial Pacific (Fig. T25).  Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic conditions reflect ENSO-neutral.

The model predictions of ENSO for this summer and beyond are relatively unchanged from last month.  Almost all the models indicate that ENSO-neutral (Niño-3.4 index between -0.5°C and 0.5°C) will persist through the rest of the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014 (Figs. F1-F13).  While all models predict warming in the tropical Pacific, there is considerable uncertainty as to whether El Niño will develop during the summer or fall.  If westerly winds continue to emerge in the western equatorial Pacific, the development of El Niño would become more likely.  However, the lower forecast skill during the spring and overall propensity for cooler conditions over the last decade still justify significant probabilities for ENSO-neutral.  The consensus forecast is for ENSO-neutral to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014, with about a 50% chance of El Niño developing during the summer or fall.

            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 2014
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