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
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
ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory
La Niña is
expected to transition to ENSO-neutral conditions during April 2012.
La Niña continued to
weaken during March 2012, as below-average SSTs persisted primarily in the
central Pacific (Fig. T18). All of the Niño indices
have warmed during the last two months, and the Niño 4 and Niño 3.4 indices were
near -0.5 in March (Table T2). The oceanic heat
content (average temperature in the upper 300m of ocean) anomalies also
continued to warm, with alternating pockets of negative and positive
temperature anomalies observed within the upper 100 m in the central and eastern
Pacific (Fig. T17). Significant anomalous
low-level westerly winds developed in the western tropical Pacific in late
March, associated with the MJO. This wind event could further warm the central
and eastern Pacific within the coming few months. Presently, however, the
larger scale atmospheric circulation anomalies and the Southern Oscillation
Index retain their La Niña characteristics (Fig. T1). Accordingly, convection remains suppressed in the western and central Pacific, and enhanced over Indonisia,
Malaysia and the Philippines (Fig. T25). Collectively, these
oceanic and atmospheric patterns indicate that a transition from La Niña to
ENSO-neutral conditions is underway.
A majority of models
predict ENSO-neutral conditions for March-May 2012, continuing through the
Northern Hemisphere summer 2012 (Figs. F1-F13). Based on the continued weakening of the
negative SST anomalies during March 2012, and on the historical tendency for La
Niña to dissipate during the Northern Hemisphere spring, we continue to expect
La Niña to dissipate during April 2012. ENSO-neutral conditions are then
expected to persist through the summer. Thereafter, there is considerable
uncertainty in the forecast, which slightly favors ENSO-neutral or developing
El Niño conditions over a return to La Niña conditions during the remainder of
updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate
Prediction Center homepage (El Niño/La
Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).