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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: La Niña Watch




La Niña is favored to develop (~70% chance) during the Northern Hemisphere fall 2016 and slightly favored to persist (~55% chance) during winter 2016-17.




            ENSO-Neutral conditions were observed during September, with negative sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies expanding across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean by early October (Fig. T18).  For the September monthly average, the Niño-3.4 index was -0.6°C, though cooled even further by early October (Table T2).  Subsurface temperature anomalies also decreased toward the end of the month, reflecting the strengthening of below-average temperatures at depth in the east-central equatorial Pacific (Fig. T17).  Atmospheric anomalies across the equatorial Pacific edged toward La Niña during September, with a stronger tendency toward La Niña late in the month.  The traditional Southern Oscillation index and the equatorial Southern Oscillation index were positive (Table T1 & Fig. T2).  The lower-level winds were near average across most of the basin during the month, but enhanced easterlies were becoming more persistent west of the International Date Line (Fig. T20).  Upper-level winds were anomalously westerly near and just east of the International Date Line (Fig. T21).  Convection was weakly suppressed over the central tropical Pacific and was more enhanced over Indonesia compared to last month (Fig. T25).  Overall, the combined ocean and atmosphere system reflects ENSO-Neutral during September, but is more clearly trending toward La Niña conditions. 

The multi-model averages favor borderline Neutral-La Niña conditions (3-month average Niño-3.4 index less than or equal to -0.5°C) persisting during the Northern Hemisphere fall and continuing into the winter (Figs. F1-F13).  Because of the recent cooling in the Niño-3.4 region and signs of renewed atmospheric coupling, the forecaster consensus now favors the formation of a weak La Niña in the near term, becoming less confident that La Niña will persist through the winter.  In summary, La Niña is favored to develop (~70% chance) during the Northern Hemisphere fall 2016 and slightly favored to persist (~55% chance) during winter 2016-17.

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: October 2016
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