ENSO Forecast by Markov Model Using GODAS

(Anomalies are relative to the 1981-2010 climatology)

Explanation of the Forecasts

Forecasts of the tropical Pacific SST anomalies presented here are made with a linear statistical model (Markov model). The Markov model is constructed in a reduced multivariate EOF space of sea surface temperature, sea level and wind stress . The SST field is derived from the NCEP SST analysis (Reynolds and Smith 1994), the sea level from the NCEP GODAS ocean analysis (Xue and Behringer 2004), and the wind stress from the Florida State University pseudo-wind stress product. All the data are monthly values averaged in grid boxes of 1.5 degrees in longitude and 1 degrees in latitude, and cover the tropical Pacific region within 20 degrees of the equator. The model is trained for the 1980-1995 period, and is built with three multivariate EOFs in which the anomalous fields of SST, sea level and wind stress are equally weighted.

Forecast Data for Downloading (1980-1995, cross-validated)

Forecast Data for Downloading (1996-present, real time)

The Markov model forecasts are published quarterly in Experimental Long-Lead Forecast Bulletin . Further details on current conditions of El Nino and El Nino forecasts are found in Climate Diagnostics Bulletin from Climate Prediction Center .


Xue, Y., A. Leetmaa, and M. Ji, 2000: ENSO prediction with Markov model: The impact of sea level. J. Climate, 13, 849-871.

Xue, Y., M. A. Cane, S. E. Zebiak, and B. Blumenthal, 1994: On the prediction of ENSO: a study with a low-order Markov model. Tellus , 46A , 512-528.

Please email your comments to: Dr. Yan.Xue

Go to Yan Xue's home page.