Climate Model Summary

Climate Model Summary Archive: 8 November 2010

Models predict La Niña event will persist into first quarter of 2011


As detailed in the ENSO Wrap-up, La Niña conditions continue to dominate the tropical Pacific.

Dynamical models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology suggest central Pacific Ocean (NINO3.4) sea surface temperatures are likely to remain at levels typical of a La Niña event into the first quarter of 2011, with the majority of the models indicating the event will gradually weaken over the coming months.

The NCEP model predicts NINO3.4 will cool further, with NINO3.4 peaking at its coolest temperature in March. The Japanese Met Agency and NASA models predict a faster decay of the La Niña conditions. Most models, with NCEP being the only exception, predict the central Pacific will warm during the first quarter of 2011.

The Bureau's POAMA model suggests that central Pacific Ocean temperatures will start to warm in coming months, with all thirty POAMA forecasts favouring a gradual weakening of La Niña conditions. However, despite a gradual weakening, POAMA predicts that the central Pacific Ocean will remain at temperatures typical of a La Niña event until at least the end of the southern hemisphere summer.

Model Outlooks

The following table summarises the opinion of National Climate Centre climatologists regarding the outputs from various long range 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
(Dec 10 to Feb 11)
(Mar 11 to May 11)
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
6 December Cool Cool/Neutral
System 3
1 November Cool Cool/Neutral
GloSea *
UK Met Office
1 November Cool Cool/Neutral #
7 December Cool Cool
NASA Goddard GMAO (US)
1 November Cool Neutral/Warm
Japan Met. Agency
1 November Cool Neutral
Korean Met. Administration
1 November Cool/Neutral Cool/Neutral
BCC/CMA (China)
Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable

# Model forecast is run only until the end of April
* 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 predict La Niña conditions will gradually weaken over the coming months however the event will persist until the end of the southern hemisphere summer.

The negative IOD event has decayed and is currently neutral with the latest weekly value of the IOD index at -0.07. POAMA predicts that the IOD index will remain neutral through the southern hemisphere summer. IOD events usually weaken during November and December with the onset of the Australian Monsoon.

March 2011

For the 30 runs of POAMA between 7 November 2010 and 6 December 2010, the average NINO3.4 temperature anomaly for March 2011 is -0.88°C and the frequency distribution is as follows:
below −0.8°C: 56.7% (Cool)
−0.8°C to +0.8°C: 43.3% (Neutral)
above +0.8°C: 0.0% (Warm)

May 2011

Similarly for May 2011 the average NINO3.4 index is -0.60°C and the frequency distribution is:
below −0.8°C: 16.7% (Cool)
−0.8°C to +0.8°C: 83.3% (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 8th December 2010.
Next update expected 22nd December 2010.

See also the ENSO Wrap-up archive here.

Past climate model summaries