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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 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:  El Niño Advisory




El Niño will likely peak during the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, with a transition to ENSO-neutral anticipated during the late spring or early summer 2016.




            A strong El Niño continued during October as indicated by well above-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18). Most Niño indices increased, although the far eastern Niño-1+2 index decreased, accentuating the maximum in anomalous SST farther west (Table T2).  The subsurface temperature anomalies also increased in the central and eastern Pacific, in association with another downwelling equatorial oceanic Kelvin wave (Fig. T17).  Low-level westerly wind anomalies and upper-level easterly wind anomalies continued over the western to east-central tropical Pacific (Figs.T20, T21). Also, the traditional and equatorial Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values remained negative (Table T1 & Fig. T2).  These conditions are associated with enhanced convection over the central and eastern tropical Pacific and with suppressed convection over Indonesia (Fig.T25). Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic anomalies reflect a strong and mature El Niño episode. 

Most models indicate that a strong El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, followed by weakening and a transition to ENSO-neutral during the late spring or early summer (Figs. F1-F13). The forecaster consensus remains nearly unchanged, with the expectation that this El Niño could rank among the top three strongest episodes as measured by the 3-month SST departures in the Niño 3.4 region going back to 1950.  El Niño will likely peak during the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, with a transition to ENSO-neutral anticipated during the late spring or early summer 2016.

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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