Climate Model Summary

Climate Model Summary Archive: 15 September 2010

Models predict La Niña conditions to continue: La Niña intensifies in the Pacific


As detailed in our ENSO Wrap-up, the La Niña event in the Pacific Ocean has strengthened further over the past two weeks.

Dynamical computer models surveyed by the Bureau suggest Niño3.4 sea surface temperatures will remain at levels typical of a La Niña event through the southern hemisphere spring, with the majority of the models indicating the event will persist into at least early 2011.

The ECMWF, UK Met Office, NCEP and NASA models predict Nino3.4 will cool further, with the UK Met Office, NCEP and NASA model predicting Nino3.4 will reach its coldest temperatures towards the end of 2010. Apart from KMA-SNU that predicts Nino3.4 to start steadily warming through the southern hemisphere spring, the other two models forecast Nino3.4 temperatures to remain at similar levels to what they are currently until the end of 2010.

The Bureau's POAMA model suggests that ocean temperatures will remain at La Niña levels until early 2011.

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 1-3 MONTHS
(Sept 10 to Nov 10)
(Dec 10 to Feb 11)
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
13 September Cool Cool
System 3
1 August Cool Cool
GloSea *
UK Met Office
1 August Cool Cool #
13 September Cool Cool
NASA Goddard GMAO (US)
1 September Cool Cool
Japan Met. Agency
1 August Cool Neutral/Cool
Korean Met. Administration
August Cool/Neutral Neutral/Cool
BCC/CMA (China)
Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable

# Model forecast is run only until the end of December
* 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 La Niña conditions to last until early 2011.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is in a negative phase, with the latest weekly value of the IOD index dropping to -0.7. POAMA predicts that the IOD index will remain at negative IOD levels throughout the southern hemisphere spring, before decaying in the months of November and December with the onset of the Australian monsoon.

November 2010

For the 30 runs of POAMA between 15 August 2010 and 13 September 2010, the average NINO3.4 temperature anomaly for November 2010 is -1.39°C and the frequency distribution is as follows:
below −0.8°C: 100.0% (Cool)
−0.8°C to +0.8°C: 0.0% (Neutral)
above +0.8°C: 0.0% (Warm)

February 2011

Similarly for February 2011 the average NINO3.4 index is -1.17°C and the frequency distribution is:
below −0.8°C: 93.3% (Cool)
−0.8°C to +0.8°C: 6.7% (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 15th September 2010.
Next update expected 29th September 2010.

See also the ENSO Wrap-up archive here.

Past climate model summaries