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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 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 Niņo Advisory      


            El Niņo is expected to continue  and last  at least into the Northern Hemisphere Spring 2010.


El Niņo strengthened from October to November 2009, as sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies increased across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. T9).  The monthly Niņo-3.4 index value increased to +1.7°C (Table T2).  Consistent with this warmth, upper-ocean heat content anomalies remained positive, and subsurface temperature anomalies shifted eastward across the eastern Pacific, with the largest departures exceeding +4°C by the end of the month (Fig. T17). Also, the low-level and upper-level wind anomalies over the equatorial Pacific were highly variable during the month due to the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO; Fig. T13).  The MJO also contributed to anomalous convection over Indonesia and the west-central equatorial Pacific (110°E to 180°; Fig. T11).  Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect a moderate strength El Niņo. 

Substantial disagreement remains among the models as to the eventual peak strength of El Niņo  (Figs. F1-F13). Even at short lead times (e.g. November-December-January), SST forecasts for the Niņo-3.4 region range from +0.5 to +2.0°C.  At this point, it seems equally likely that El Niņo will either strengthen further or remain at moderate strength (3-month Niņo-3.4 SST index of +1.0 to +1.4°C) during the next few months.  Regardless of the precise peak strength, El Niņo is expected to exert a significant influence on the global weather and climate in the coming months.  Most models indicate El Niņo to persist through March-April-May 2010, with SST anomalies in the Niņo-3.4 region beginning to decrease somewhat in early 2010. 

Weekly updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate Prediction Center homepage (El Niņo/La Niņa Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).

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Page Last Modified: December 2009
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