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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



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:  Not Active




ENSO-neutral is favored through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2012-13.




During October 2012, the Pacific Ocean continued to reflect borderline ENSO-neutral/ weak El Niño conditions.  Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SST) were above average across the western and central Pacific (Fig. T18), which were also reflected in the Niño indices (Table T2).  The oceanic heat content (average temperature in the upper 300m of the ocean) anomalies also increased slightly in association with the downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave (Fig. T17).  While the subsurface and surface Pacific Ocean has recently warmed, the tropical atmosphere remained largely consistent with ENSO-neutral.  Upper-level and lower-level winds were near average (Figs. T20 and T21), and the strength of anomalous convection decreased over the past month (Fig. T25).  Thus, the atmosphere and ocean continue to indicate borderline ENSO-neutral/ weak El Niño conditions.  

Relative to last month, the SST model predictions more strongly favor ENSO-neutral, although remaining above-average in the Niño-3.4 region through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2012-13 (Figs. F1-F13).  While the tropical ocean and atmosphere may resemble a weak El Niño at times, it is now considered less likely that a fully coupled El Niño will develop. Therefore, the previous El Niño Watch has been discontinued as the chance of El Niño has decreased. While the development of El Niño cannot be ruled out during the next few months, ENSO-neutral is now favored through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2012-13.

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 2012
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