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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.


            Developing La Niña conditions are likely to continue into Northern Hemisphere Spring 2009.  


During December 2008, negative equatorial sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies strengthened across the central and east-central Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18). Correspondingly, the monthly SST index values were −0.4°C in Niño-1+2, −0.5°C in Niño 3, −0.7°C in Niño 3.4, and −0.6°C in Niño 4 (Table T2).  The subsurface oceanic heat content anomalies (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean) also became increasingly negative as below-average temperatures at thermocline depth strengthened in the central and eastern Pacific (Fig. T17).  Convection remained suppressed near the International Date Line, and became more persistent near Indonesia during December (Fig. T25).  Low-level easterly winds and upper-level westerly winds also strengthened across the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Figs. T20 and T21) .  Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect the development of La Niña.

Nearly all of the recent forecasts for the Niño-3.4 region indicate a continuation of below-average SSTs through the first half of 2009, with at least one-half predicting La Niña conditions throughout the period (Figs. F1-F13).  While the magnitude of cooling remains uncertain, NOAA’s official La Niña threshold (3-month average of the Niño-3.4 index less than or equal to −0.5°C) is expected be met at least through January-March 2009.  Therefore, based on current observations, recent trends, and model forecasts, La Niña conditions are likely to continue into the Northern Hemisphere Spring 2009.

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: January 2009
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