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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

JULY 2007

Forecast Forum

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 F4.  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.  Niņo 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-neutral conditions are expected to continue through August 2007, with a slightly greater than 50% chance of La Niņa developing during the next couple of months.


            ENSO-neutral conditions continued in the tropical Pacific during July 2007, with average to below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) extending from the date line to the west coast of South America (Fig. T18). The July SST departures were negative in the Niņo 1+2 ("1.6ēC), Niņo 3 ("0.8ēC), and Niņo 3.4 ("0.3 ēC) regions, and positive in the Niņo 4 (+0.2ēC) region (Table T2). Thus, while SSTs in the eastern equatorial Pacific have been cooler than average for the last six months, the departures continue to fall short of the threshold for La Niņa (3-month running mean value of "0.5 ēC for the Niņo 3.4 region: 5°N-5°S, 120-170°W).

            Despite not meeting the SST threshold for La Niņa, recent atmospheric circulation and tropical convection patterns are consistent with the evolution toward La Niņa conditions. For example, the low-level easterly winds remained stronger than average in the west-central equatorial Pacific (Fig. T20), convection remained suppressed across most of the equatorial Pacific, and a weak area of enhanced convection covered parts of Indonesia and the far western equatorial Pacific (Fig. T25). Also, the upper-ocean heat content (average temperatures in the upper 300 m of the ocean) in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific remained below-average, but the magnitude of the departures continued to exhibit intraseasonal fluctuations. Collectively, the oceanic and atmospheric conditions reflect a continuation of ENSO-neutral conditions.

            Nearly all of the ENSO models predict below-average SSTs in the Niņo 3.4 region for the remainder of the year (Figs. F1-F13). The spread of the recent model forecasts range from ENSO-neutral to La Niņa, with a majority of dynamical models indicating a more immediate transition to La Niņa. However, over the last several months, the dynamical models have consistently predicted a stronger and more rapid cooling than has actually occurred. In contrast, a majority of the statistical models indicate a continuation of ENSO-neutral conditions, but some forecast weak La Niņa conditions during the fall or winter. When considered collectively, recent atmospheric conditions and model forecasts suggest a slightly greater than 50% chance of La Niņa developing during the next couple of months. Historically, the early fall season (August-September-October) has been a critical period for the onset of La Niņa events.

Weekly updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate Prediction Center homepage (El Niņo/La Niņa Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).

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Page Author: Climate Prediction Center Internet Team
Page Last Modified: August 2007
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