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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



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:  La Niña Advisory





La Niña is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2011-12.




During October 2011, below-average sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with La Niña conditions strengthened across the east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18). As a result, the monthly SST index values in the Niño-3.4 and Niño-3 regions dropped to near –1.0°C (Table T2).  Also, the oceanic heat content (average temperature in the upper 300m of the ocean) remained below-average, reflecting an extensive area of below-average temperatures at depth (Fig. T17).  The atmospheric circulation over the global tropics featured strong week-to-week variability during October in response to the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO). Averaged over the month, convection remained suppressed near the Date Line in association with La Niña, but was near-normal over Indonesia as the MJO acted to offset the increased convection typically associated with La Niña (Fig. T25).  In addition, anomalous low-level easterly and upper-level westerly winds shifted into the western Pacific and over Papua New Guinea (Figs. T20, T21).  Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric patterns reflect the continuation of La Niña conditions, although modified slightly by the MJO.

A majority of the models now predict La Niña to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter (Figs. F1-F13) and then gradually weaken after peaking during the November – January period.  The models are roughly split between those that predict La Niña to remain weak (3-month average in the Nino-3.4 region less than -0.9°C) and those that predict a stronger episode. Over the last half-century, La Niña events that were preceded by ENSO-neutral conditions during the Northern Hemisphere summer (May-August) were less likely to attain strong amplitude (less than –1.5°C) the following winter.  This observation, in combination with the model forecasts, favors a weak-to-moderate strength La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere winter.

            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: November 2011
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