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Forecast Forum - November 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 +1ºC were observed in most of the equatorial Pacific between 170ºE and the South American coast during November (Fig. T18).  The latest SST departures in the Niño regions are all near +1.0ºC (Table T2, Fig. T5).  The increase in SST anomalies during the last several months has been accompanied by weaker-than-average low-level equatorial easterly winds across most of the equatorial Pacific (Fig. T13) and negative values of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (Table T1, Fig. T1). Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies are consistent with the early stages of El Niño in the tropical Pacific.

           The value of the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI; 3-month running mean average of SST anomalies in the Niño 3.4 region – computed using the Extended Reconstructed SST version-2 data set) for September-November 2006 is +0.9°C, which indicates El Niño conditions. Most of the statistical and coupled model forecasts (Figs. F1, F2, F3, F4a, F4b, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12 and F13), including the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS), indicate that El Niño conditions will peak during the NH winter (December 2006-February 2007), followed by weakening during the NH spring (March-May 2007). 

Typical El Niño effects are likely over North America during January-March 2007, including warmer-than-average temperatures over western and central Canada , and over the northwestern and northern United States , wetter-than-average conditions over portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida , and drier-than-average conditions over the Ohio Valley and over portions of the Pacific Northwest .  Global effects that can be expected during December-March include drier-than-average conditions over most of Malaysia, Indonesia, northern and eastern Australia, 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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