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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 2011

Forecast Forum

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: La Niña Watch   


           ENSO-neutral is expected to continue into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011, with ENSO-neutral or La Niña equally likely thereafter. 


During July 2011, ENSO-neutral was reflected in the overall pattern of small sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies across the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18).  All of the monthly weekly Niño index values were generally near average (Table T2), ranging from –0.3°C (Niño-4) to 0.5°C (Niño-1+2).  However, the subsurface oceanic heat content anomaly (average temperature anomalies in the upper 300m of the ocean) continued to weaken and is currently near zero, which reflects the strengthening of the below-average temperatures at depth in the east-central Pacific Ocean (Fig. T17).  The atmospheric circulation anomalies were more variable during the past month, but the monthly means still reflect aspects of La Niña.  For example, convection continued to be enhanced over eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and generally suppressed over the central equatorial Pacific, mainly south of the equator (Fig. T25).  Also, anomalous low-level easterly and upper-level westerly winds persisted over the central tropical Pacific (Figs. T20, T21).  Thus, while tropical Pacific oceanic anomalies indicate ENSO-neutral, the atmospheric patterns continue to reflect La Niña-like conditions.

The majority of ENSO models, and all multi-model average forecasts (indicated by thicker lines, Figs. F1-F13), indicate ENSO-neutral will continue into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011 (three-month average in the Nino-3.4 index between –0.5°C and +0.5°C).  Beyond the early fall, the forecasts are less certain with half of the models persisting ENSO-neutral conditions continuously through early 2012.  Along with a few other models, the latest runs from the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS) models predict La Niña to re-develop during the fall.  This forecast is also supported by the ongoing La Niña-like tropical atmosphere, subsurface temperature trends, and the historical tendency for significant wintertime La Niña episodes to be followed by relatively weaker La Niña episodes the following winter.  Therefore, ENSO-neutral is expected to continue into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011, with ENSO-neutral or La Niña equally likely thereafter. 

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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Page Last Modified: August 2011
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