Climate Model Summary

Climate Model Summary Archive: 18 April 2012

Issued on Wednesday 18 April 2012 |

Continued warming in tropical Pacific Ocean


As detailed in the ENSO Wrap-Up, warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean since early 2012 has led to the demise of the 2011−12 La Niña and the establishment of neutral (i.e., neither El Niño or La Niña) conditions.

All dynamical models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology suggest that sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific will continue to warm over the next six months. Four of the six models surveyed are suggesting warm (i.e., El Niño) conditions may develop during the coming winter-spring. Climatologists at the Bureau of Meteorology will continue to closely monitor Pacific ocean and atmosphere conditions, as well as model outlooks, and advice on the likely state of the climate provided through the fortnightly ENSO Wrap-Up.

Model Outlooks

The following table summarises the opinion of National Climate Centre (NCC) climatologists regarding the outputs from various long range forecast models. The model set contains seven 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
(May 2012 to Jul 2012)
(Aug 2012 to Oct 2012)
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
1 April Neutral Neutral
17 April Neutral Neutral
NASA Goddard GMAO (US)
1 April Neutral Warm
System 4
1 April Neutral/Warm Warm
Japan Met. Agency
1 April Neutral/Warm Warm
UK Met Office
12 April Neutral/Warm Warm #
Korean Met. Administration
Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable

# Forecast period ends before October.

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 on day 1 of each month for the following eight months. The most recent model run predicts NINO3.4 will continue to warm throughout the forecast period, approaching warm (El Niño) condtions towards the end of the year.

The IOD is currently neutral with the latest weekly value at +0.2. POAMA forecasts indicate the IOD is likely to remain neutral throughout the austral autumn and winter months.

June 2012

The most recent POAMA model run (1 April) predicts the average NINO3.4 temperature anomaly for June 2012 will be 0.3 °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)

September 2012

For September 2012, the average NINO3.4 temperature anomaly is 0.5 °C and the frequency distribution is:
below −0.8 °C: 0.0% (Cool)
−0.8 °C to +0.8 °C: 86.7% (Neutral)
above +0.8 °C: 13.3% (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 on the 18th of April 2012.
Next update expected 2nd of May 2012.

See also the ENSO Wrap-up archive here.

Past climate model summaries