Skip Navigation Links 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA home page National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS home page
Climate Prediction Center

HOME > Expert Assessments > Climate Diagnostics Bulletin > Forecast Forum
Forecast Forum - March 2007

          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.


            A transition from ENSO-neutral to La Niña conditions is possible during the next 3 months.


            The pattern of anomalous sea surface temperatures (SSTs) during March 2007 is consistent with ENSO-neutral conditions in the tropical Pacific, with average to below-average SSTs extending from the date line to the west coast of South America (Fig. T18).  Positive anomalies greater than +0.5ºC along the equator were restricted to the region between 145ºE and the date line (180º).   The latest weekly SST departures were near 0ºC in the Niño 3.4 region, and below -0.5ºC in the Niño 3 and Niño 1+2 regions.

            The equatorial upper-ocean heat content (average temperature departures in the upper 300 m of the ocean) remains below-average across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, as the upper ocean continued to cool and negative temperature anomalies persisted (Fig. T15).  Consistent with the surface and sub-surface temperature patterns, stronger than-average low-level easterly winds continued throughout the month over the central equatorial Pacific (Figs. T7 and T20), and convection was enhanced over the western equatorial Pacific and Indonesia and suppressed to the east of the date line (Fig. T25). Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic conditions are consistent with a trend towards a Pacific cold episode (La Niña).

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 January – March 2007 is +0.3°C, which reflects ENSO-neutral conditions in the tropical Pacific.   Most of the statistical and coupled models, including the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS), indicate additional anomalous cooling during the next several months (Figs. F1, F2, F3, F4a, F4b, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12 and F13).   This forecast is consistent with the observed trends in atmospheric and oceanic conditions towards a Pacific cold episode. However, the spread of the most recent statistical and coupled model forecasts (ENSO-neutral to La Niña) indicates considerable uncertainty as to when La Niña might develop and how strong it might be.

            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:


NOAA/ National Weather Service
NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction
Climate Prediction Center
5830 University Research Court
College Park, Maryland 20740
Page Author: Climate Prediction Center Internet Team
Page last modified: November 17, 2005
Information Quality
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
About Us
Career Opportunities