Climate Model Summary

Climate Model Summary Archive: March 2010

Models predict neutral conditions to return to the Pacific by June 2010


As detailed in our ENSO Wrap-up, the breakdown of El Niño has continued to unfold, with decreases in Pacific Ocean heat content in the second half of March.

The ensemble mean prediction, from all the climate models surveyed here, predicts a return to neutral conditions in the central Pacific by early winter 2010. Based on the models, there is now little suggestion that the El Niño of 2009/2010 will persist through the rest of the year.

Typically, autumn is a transitional period for the El Niño/Southern Oscillation. Hence model predictions of El Niño through and beyond autumn are generally less reliable than at other times of the year.

Model Outlooks

The following table summarizes the opinion of National Climate Centre climatologists regarding the outputs from various forecast models. The model set contains eight reputable ocean or coupled ocean/atmosphere climate models that take into account complex physical ocean processes. NCC's interpretation may not necessarily be the same as the organisations producing the model output. You are therefore encouraged to follow the hyperlinks to the various institutions listed in the table.

See About ENSO outlooks for details on the models and a summary of the terms used.

Forecast Start Date 1-4 MONTHS
(Apr 10 to Aug 10)
(Aug 10 to Oct 10)
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
28 February - 29 March Neutral Neutral
System 3
01 March Neutral Neutral
GloSea *
UK Met Office
01 March Warm/Neutral Neutral
28 February - 29 March Warm/Neutral Neutral
NASA Goddard GMAO (US)
March Neutral Neutral
Japan Met. Agency
February Warm/Neutral Neutral #
Korean Met. Administration
February Warm/Neutral Neutral #
BCC/CMA (China)
Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable

# Model forecast is run only until the end of July
* Note that this page requires a password, freely available from UK Met Office
Note that some links above may be updated to more recent forecasts than listed here.

POAMA Forecasts

The POAMA model, run at the Bureau of Meteorology, generates a new forecast every day for the following eight months starting with the latest observations. The average of the most recent 30 model runs predicts the recent warming to decline this autumn, returning to neutral conditions by early winter 2010.

While predictability is much lower than for the Pacific Ocean, POAMA continues to predict a neutral Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) to persist through the outlook period, with a large spread of trajectories beyond early winter. The NASA GMAO model, the only other model surveyed here for which IOD forecasts are published, is a neutral IOD, with a similary large spread of possible trajectories.

June 2010

For the 30 runs of POAMA between 28 Feb 2010 and 29 Mar 2010, the average NINO3.4 temperature anomaly for JUN 2010 is +0.37°C and the frequency distribution is as follows:
below −0.8°C: 0.0% (Cool)
−0.8°C to +0.8°C: 100.0% (Neutral)
above +0.8°C: 0.0% (Warm)

Sept 2010

And similarly for SEPTEMBER 2010 the average NINO3.4 index is -0.12°C and the frequency distribution is:
below −0.8°C: 0% (Cool)
−0.8°C to +0.8°C: 100.0% (Neutral)
above +0.8°C: 0.0% (Warm)

Similar data for other months can be accessed by following the "POAMA" link in the table above.

Users should exercise caution when interpreting these forecasts and are encouraged to view the actual model outputs by following the web links. Frequent updates of the latest observational data with relevant commentary are available on the Bureau's ENSO Wrap-Up page.

This survey last updated 1st April 2010.
Next update expected late April 2010.

Past climate model summaries