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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 2012


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 Watch




El Niño conditions are likely to develop during August or September 2012.




ENSO-neutral conditions continued during July 2012 despite above-average sea surface temperatures (SST) across the eastern Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18).  Reflecting this warmth, most of the monthly Niño index values remained near or greater than +0.5°C (Table T2).  The oceanic heat content anomalies (average temperature in the upper 300m of the ocean) also remained elevated during the month, consistent with a large region of above-average temperatures at depth across the equatorial Pacific (Fig. T17).  Although sub-surface and surface temperatures were above average, many aspects of the tropical atmosphere were inconsistent with El Niño conditions.  Upper-level and low-level trade winds were near average along the equator, while tropical convection remained enhanced over Indonesia (Figs. T20 and T25).  However, convection increased near and just west of the International Date Line, which may eventually reflect a progression towards El Niño.  The lack of a clear atmospheric response to the positive oceanic anomalies indicates ongoing ENSO-neutral conditions. 

Nearly all of the dynamical models favor the onset of El Niño beginning in July- September 2012 (Figs. F1-F13).  As in previous months, several statistical models predict ENSO-neutral conditions through the remainder of the year, but the average statistical forecast of Niño-3.4 increased compared to last month.  Supported by model forecasts and the continued warmth across the Pacific Ocean, there is increased confidence for a weak-to-moderate El Niño during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2012-13.  El Niño conditions are likely to develop during August or September 2012.

            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: July 2012
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