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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

MARCH 2010

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 through the Northern Hemisphere Spring 2010 and transition to ENSO-neutral conditions by Northern Hemisphere summer 2010.


El Niņo weakened to moderate strength during March 2010, with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies decreasing slightly, but still exceeding +1°C across much of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean at the end of the month (Fig. T18, Table T2).  Subsurface heat content anomalies (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean) decreased during March in response to the eastward expansion of below-average temperature anomalies at depth (100-200m) into the east-central Pacific (Fig. T17).  Anomalous tropical convection remained consistent with El Niņo, with enhanced convection over the central and eastern Pacific and suppressed convection over Indonesia (Fig. T25).  The equatorial low-level easterly trade winds strengthened near the Date Line, while upper-level easterly wind anomalies became confined to the eastern Pacific (Figs. T20, T21).  Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect an ongoing, but weakening El Niņo.

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 that will likely persist through Northern Hemisphere summer.  Over the last couple months, an increasing number of models, including the latest runs from the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS), are predicting below-average temperatures in the Niņo-3.4 region by Northern Hemisphere fall, with some forecasts meeting thresholds for La Niņa.  However, it should be noted that model skill is at a minimum during this time of year, and also that the majority of models continue to indicate the persistence of ENSO-neutral conditions through 2010. 

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: April 2010
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