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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 2011

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      


            A transition to ENSO-Neutral  conditions is expected by June 2011.


La Niña weakened for the third consecutive month, as reflected by increasing surface and subsurface ocean temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Figs. T9 and T15).  All four Niño indices ranged between –0.4°C and –1.0°C for the moth of  March  (Table T2).  Subsurface oceanic heat content anomalies (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean) became weakly positive in response to the continued eastward progression of a strong oceanic Kelvin wave, which has begun to shoal in the eastern Pacific (Fig. T17).  However, the basin wide extent of negative SST anomalies remained considerable throughout the month (Fig. T18).  Also, La Niña impacts on the atmospheric circulation remained strong over the tropical and subtropical Pacific.  Convection remained enhanced over much of Indonesia and suppressed over the western and central equatorial Pacific (Fig. T25).  Also, anomalous low-level easterly and upper-level westerly winds have persisted in this region (Figs. T20 and T21).  Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect a weakening La Niña, but with ongoing global impacts. 

Nearly all of the ENSO models predict La Niña to continue weakening in the coming months, and the majority of models indicate a return to ENSO-neutral by May-June-July 2011 (three month average in the Nino-3.4 index between –0.5°C and +0.5°C; Figs. F1-F13).  While there is confidence in ENSO-neutral conditions by June 2011, the forecasts for the late summer and beyond remain highly uncertain.  At this time, all of the multi-model forecasts suggest ENSO-neutral conditions will persist from June through the rest of the year.  However, the spread of individual model forecasts and overall model skill at these lead times leaves the door open for either El Niño or La Niña conditions by the end of 2011. 

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: April 2011
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