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About the Forecast Forum

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 2015


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 Advisory




There is an approximately 70% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere summer 2015, and a greater than 60% chance it will last through autumn.




            By the end of March 2015, weak El Niño conditions were reflected by above-average sea surface temperatures (SST) across the equatorial Pacific (Fig. T18) and by the expected tropical atmospheric response. The monthly Niño indices were +1.1°C in the Niño-4 region, +0.6°C in the Niño-3.4 region, and +0.2°C and +0.1°C in the Niño-3 and Niño-1+2 regions, respectively (Table T2). Subsurface temperature anomalies increased substantially during the month in response to a downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave, which resulted in strong positive subsurface anomalies across most of the Pacific (Fig. T17). Consistent with ocean-atmosphere coupling, enhanced convection shifted eastward to the central equatorial Pacific (Fig. T25), while low-level westerly wind anomalies continued over the western equatorial Pacific and upper-level easterly wind anomalies continued in the central Pacific (Figs. T20, T21) Also, both the traditional and the equatorial Southern Oscillation Index (EQSOI) remained negative during the month (Figs. T1, T2). Collectively, these features reflect weak El Niño conditions.

Compared to last month, more models predict El Niño (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index equal to or greater than 0.5°C) to continue throughout 2015 (Figs. F1-F13). These forecasts are supported by the increase in subsurface temperatures, enhanced convection over the Date Line, and the increased persistence of low-level westerly wind anomalies. However, model forecast skill tends to be lower during the Northern Hemisphere spring, which limits the forecast probabilities of El Niño through the year. At this time, there is also considerable uncertainty as to how strong this event may become. In summary, there is an approximately 70% chance that El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer 2015, and a greater than 60% chance that it will last through autumn.

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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