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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

All Nino Regions & SOI  F11

IRI Compilation of Forecasts
Nino3.4 Region  F12

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 ENSO‑CLIPER statistical model (Knaff and Landsea 1997, Wea. Forecasting, 12, 633‑652) are shown in Fig. F11.  Niño 3.4 predictions are summarized in Fig. F12, 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 Advisory




There is a ~60% chance of a transition from La Niña to ENSO-Neutral during the Northern Hemisphere spring 2021 (April-June).




La Niña persisted in January, reflected by below-average sea surface temperatures (SST) anomalies extending from the western to east-central Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18).  For the month, the westernmost Niño indices were -1.1ºC in Niño-3.4 and -1.2ºC in Niño-4 (Table T2).  Negative anomalies were not as strong in the eastern regions with index values of -0.7ºC in Niño-3 and -0.8ºC in Niño-1+2.  The below-average SSTs were supported by negative subsurface temperature anomalies, which extended from the surface to at least ~150m below the surface between 160°E and 130°W (Fig. T17).  Low-level wind anomalies remained easterly from the western to east-central (~140°W) tropical Pacific, with the largest amplitude near the Date Line (Fig. T20).  Upper-level wind anomalies were westerly across most of the tropical Pacific (Fig. T21).  Tropical convection continued to be suppressed over the western and central Pacific and enhanced around the Philippines and Indonesia (Fig. T25), while both the Southern Oscillation and Equatorial Southern Oscillation remained positive (Table T1 & Fig. T2).  Overall, the coupled ocean-atmosphere system remains consistent with La Niña.

Most of the models in the IRI/CPC plume predict a transition to ENSO-neutral during the Northern Hemisphere spring 2021 (Figs. F1-F12).  The forecaster consensus is in agreement with this transition and then predicts a continuation of ENSO-neutral at least through the Northern Hemisphere summer.  In part, due to the inherent uncertainty in predictions made at this time of year, the forecast for the fall remains split (~50%) between La Niña and the combination of the other two possibilities (El Niño and Neutral).  In summary, there is a ~60% chance of a transition from La Niña to ENSO-Neutral during the Northern Hemisphere spring 2021 (April-June).

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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