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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

APRIL 2016


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/ La Niña Watch




La Niña is favored to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2016, with about a 75% chance of La Nina during the fall and winter 2016-17.




During the past month, sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies decreased across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, with near-to-below average SSTs recently emerging in the eastern Pacific (Fig. T18).  The Niño region indices also reflect this decline, with the steepest decreases occurring in the Niño-3 and Niño-1+2 regions (Table T2).  The surface cooling was largely driven by the expansion of below-average subsurface temperatures, which extended to the surface in the eastern Pacific (Fig. T17).  While oceanic anomalies are clearly trending toward ENSO-neutral, many atmospheric anomalies were still consistent with El Niño, such as the negative equatorial and traditional Southern Oscillation indices (Table T1 & Fig. T2). Upper-level easterly winds persisted over the central and eastern Pacific, while low-level winds were near average (Figs. T20, T21).  Enhanced convection continued over the central tropical Pacific and was suppressed north of Indonesia (Fig. T25).  Collectively, these anomalies reflect a weakening El Niño and a trend toward ENSO-neutral conditions.


Most models predict the end of El Niño and a brief period of ENSO-neutral by early Northern Hemisphere summer (Figs. F1-F13).  The model consensus then calls for increasingly negative SST anomalies in the Niño 3.4 region as the summer and fall progress.  However, there is clear uncertainty over the timing and intensity of a potential La Niña (3-month Niño-3.4 SST less than or equal to -0.5°C).  The forecaster consensus favors La Niña onset during the summer, mainly weighting the dynamical models (such as NCEP CFSv2) and observed trends toward cooler-than-average conditions.  Overall, La Niña is favored to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2016, with about a 75% chance of La Nina during the fall and winter 2016-17.

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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