Climate Model Summary

Climate Model Summary Archive: 30 May 2012

Issued on Wednesday 30 May 2012 |

Neutral in tropical Pacific but further warming likely


As detailed in the ENSO Wrap-Up, climate indicators across the tropical Pacific remain at ENSO-neutral values (i.e., neither El Niño nor 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. Five of the seven models surveyed are suggesting an increased risk of warm (i.e., El Niño) conditions developing before the end of spring 2012. The remaining two models are showing borderline neutral-warm forecasts for this period. El Niño events typically begin to develop in the autumn or winter months, strengthening in spring before a rapid decline in late summer and autumn.

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
(Jun 2012 to Aug 2012)
(Sep 2012 to Nov 2012)
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
1 May Neutral/Warm Warm
29 May Neutral Neutral/Warm
NASA Goddard GMAO (US)
1 May Neutral/Warm Warm
System 4
1 May Neutral/Warm Warm
Japan Met. Agency
1 May Warm Warm
UK Met Office
1 May Neutral/Warm Warm #
1 May Neutral Neutral/Warm

# Forecast period ends before November.
* This model has been introduced to our Model Summary as of 16 May 2012. A password is required to view these forecasts.

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, with a transition to warm El Niño conditions in late winter to early spring.

The IOD is currently neutral, with an index value of +0.6 for the week ending 27 May. Recent forecasts from the POAMA model predict neutral conditions for winter and spring.

July 2012

The most recent POAMA model run (1 May) predicts the average NINO3.4 temperature anomaly for July 2012 will be 0.7 °C and the frequency distribution is as follows:
below −0.8 °C: 0.0% (Cool)
−0.8 °C to +0.8 °C: 70.0% (Neutral)
above +0.8 °C: 30.0% (Warm)

October 2012

For October 2012, the average NINO3.4 temperature anomaly is 0.9 °C and the frequency distribution is:
below −0.8 °C: 0.0% (Cool)
−0.8 °C to +0.8 °C: 30.0% (Neutral)
above +0.8 °C: 70.0% (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 on the 30th of May 2012.
Next update expected 13th of June 2012.

See also the ENSO Wrap-up archive here.

Past climate model summaries