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HOME > Expert Assessments > Climate Diagnostics Bulletin > Forecast Forum
Forecast Forum - September 2006

          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.


            El Niño conditions are likely to continue into early 2007.


Equatorial Pacific SST anomalies greater than +0.5ºC were observed in most of the equatorial Pacific during September, with anomalies exceeding +1.0ºC between 165ºE and 165ºW and in several areas east of 150ºW (Fig.  T18).  The latest SST departures in the Niño regions are all greater than +0.5 (Table T2, Fig. T5).  Beginning in February the basin-wide upper ocean heat content increased, and since early April positive anomalies have been observed.  Since early July weaker-than-average low-level equatorial easterly winds have been observed across much of the equatorial Pacific (Fig. T13). In September the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was negative for the fifth consecutive month (Table T1, Fig. T1). Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies are consistent with the early stages of El Niño in the tropical Pacific.

Over the past several months most of the statistical and coupled model forecasts have trended towards warmer conditions in the tropical Pacific through the Northern Hemisphere winter (Figs. F1, F2, F3, F4a, F4b, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12 and F13). The latest NCEP coupled forecast system (CFS) predictions indicate El Niño conditions for the remainder of 2006 and into the NH spring (SH fall) 2007 (Figs. F3 , F4a and F4b). More than two-thirds of the other statistical and coupled model predictions also indicate El Niño conditions during the same period (Fig. F13).

Typical El Niño effects are likely to develop over North America during the upcoming winter season, including warmer-than-average temperatures over western and central Canada , and over the western and northern United States , wetter-than-average conditions over portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida , and drier-than-average conditions in the Ohio Valley and the Pacific Northwest . Global effects that can be expected during November-March include drier-than-average conditions over most of Malaysia , Indonesia , some of the U.S.-affiliated islands in the tropical North Pacific, northern South America and southeastern Africa , and wetter-than-average conditions over equatorial East Africa , central South America ( Uruguay , northeastern Argentina , and southern Brazil ) and along the coasts of Ecuador and northern Peru . 

            Weekly updates of SST, 850-hPa wind, OLR and features of the equatorial subsurface thermal structure are available on the Climate Prediction Center homepage at:


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