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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 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 Advisory




A transition from La Niña to ENSO-neutral is most likely (~55% chance) during the March-May season, with neutral conditions likely to continue into the second half of the year.




During February 2018, La Niña weakened, but was still reflected by below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18). The monthly index values were -0.9°C and -1.0°C in the Niño-3.4 and Niño-3 regions, respectively, and were less negative in the surrounding Niño.4 and Niño1+2 regions (Table T2). While negative anomalies were maintained near the surface, the sub-surface temperature anomalies (averaged across 180°-100°W) warmed to near zero. This warming was due to the eastward propagation of above-average temperatures along the thermocline in association with a downwelling equatorial oceanic Kelvin wave (Fig. T17).  The atmospheric anomalies typical of La Niña weakened considerably across the tropical Pacific.  Convection was suppressed near Indonesia and was only weakly enhanced over the far western Pacific (Fig. T25).  Also, low-level wind anomalies were westerly over the western and central Pacific, while upper-level winds remained anomalously westerly over the eastern Pacific (Figs. T20, T21).  Overall, the ocean and atmosphere system suggests La Niña is weakening.


Most models in the IRI/CPC plume predict La Niña will decay and return to ENSO-neutral during the Northern Hemisphere spring 2018 (Figs. F1-F13). The forecast consensus similarly favors a transition during the spring, with a continuation of ENSO-neutral conditions through the summer.  In summary, a transition from La Niña to ENSO-neutral is most likely (~55% chance) during the March-May season, with neutral conditions likely to continue into the second half of the year.


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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