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
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
ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory
La Niña is
expected to continue into the Northern spring 2012.
During December 2011,
below-average sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with La Niña continued
across the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18). The SST
index in the Niño-3.4 region remained near –1.0°C (Table T2), indicating a weak to moderate La Niña. The oceanic heat content (average temperature
in the upper 300m of the ocean) anomalies strengthened across the eastern
Pacific, reflecting a large area of below-average temperatures in the
subsurface (Fig. T17). In the atmosphere, anomalous low-level
easterly and upper-level westerly winds strengthened over the central and
west-central Pacific (Figs. T20, T21). Convection remained suppressed in the western and
central Pacific and enhanced over northern Australia and parts of Indonesia and
the Philippine Islands (Fig. T25). Consistent with these
conditions, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) also strengthened. This
evolution is consistent with past events, in which the atmospheric components
of La Niña become strongest and most well-defined during the Northern
Hemisphere winter. Collectively, the ongoing oceanic and atmospheric patterns
reflect the continuation of a weak to moderate La Niña.
A majority of models
predict a weak or moderate strength La Niña to peak during the December –
February season, and then to continue into early Northern Hemisphere spring
season before dissipating during the March to May period (Figs. F1-F13). A slight
majority of models predict La Niña to remain weak (3-month average SST anomaly
in the Niño-3.4 region between -0.5 and -0.9°C) this winter, while several
others predict a moderate-strength episode (anomaly in the Niño-3.4 region
between -1.0 and -1.4°C). The latest
observations, combined with model forecasts, suggest that La Niña will be of
weak-to-moderate strength this winter, and will continue thereafter as a weak
event until it likely dissipates sometime between March and May.
updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate
Prediction Center homepage (El
Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).