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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 November 2011, below-average sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with La Niña conditions continued across the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18). The monthly SST indices in the Niño-3.4 and Niño-3 regions were near –1.0°C (Table T2), indicative of weak to moderate La Niña.  The oceanic heat content (average temperature in the upper 300m of the ocean) weakened slightly, but still indicates a large area of below-average temperatures at depth in the eastern Pacific (Fig. T17).  Also reflecting La Niña, the atmospheric circulation over the global tropics featured anomalous low-level easterly and upper-level westerly winds in the central and west-central Pacific (Figs. T20, T21). Averaged over the month, convection was suppressed near and just west of the Date Line and enhanced over northern Australia and parts of Indonesia (Fig. T25). Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric patterns are consistent with the continuation of La Niña conditions.

A majority of the models predict a weak or moderate strength La Niña to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter (Figs. F1-F13) and then gradually weaken after peaking during the December – 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 between -0.5 and -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 (stronger 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, likely weakening with the onset of northern spring.

            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: December 2011
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