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HOME > Expert Assessments > Climate Diagnostics Bulletin > Forecast Forum
Forecast Forum - August 2005

          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-neutral conditions are expected during the next 3-6 months.



Equatorial SSTs were near average in most areas between 180°W and the South American coast during August, while positive anomalies persisted between Indonesia and 180°W (Figs T9 and T18). The SST departures in the Niño 3, Niño 3.4, and Niño 1+2 regions were quite small, while positive departures (+0.4°C) persisted in the Niño 4 region (Table T2 and Fig. T5). The general decrease in surface and subsurface temperature anomalies observed during the last several months (Figs. T9, T15 and T17), has been accompanied by stronger-than-average easterly winds (Fig. T7) and near-average convection (Figs. T8 and T25) over the central equatorial Pacific, consistent with ENSO-neutral conditions.

           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 June-August 2005 is +0.2°C, which indicates ENSO neutral conditions. The large spread of the most recent statistical and coupled model forecast (Figs. F1, F2, F3, F4a, F4b, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12 and F13) from weak La Niña to weak El Niño indicates considerable uncertainty. However, current conditions and recent observed trends support a continuation of ENSO-neutral conditions for the next 3-6 months. 

           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:


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