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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 2013


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:  Not Active




ENSO-neutral is favored into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2013.




During March 2013, ENSO-neutral continued, with slightly above average SSTs in the eastern portion of the basin (Fig. T18).  All the Nino indices were between -0.2°C and +0.1°C for the month (Table T2).  The oceanic heat content (average temperature in the upper 300m of the ocean) increased to near-average during the month as an area of above-average temperatures at depth moved eastward into portions of the eastern basin (Fig. T17).  The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) again contributed to increased atmospheric variability over the tropical Pacific. Low-level winds were near average, and upper-level winds were anomalously westerly across the equatorial Pacific (Figs. T20 and T21). Convection was enhanced over the western equatorial Pacific and suppressed in the central basin (Fig. T25).  Collectively, these features indicate the continuation of ENSO-neutral.  

Most models forecast Niño-3.4 SSTs to remain ENSO-neutral through the Northern Hemisphere fall (Figs. F1-F13), with dynamical models tending to predict warmer conditions (0°C to 0.5°C) than the statistical models (-0.5°C to 0°C).  There is less confidence in the forecasts for the last half of the year, partly because of the so-called “spring barrier,” which historically leads to lower model skill beginning in late spring.  Thus, ENSO-neutral is favored into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2013.

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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