reason for the spring barrier

Why is it so difficult to make a good ENSO prediction during the Northern Hemisphere spring? 

You're not the only one wondering if we will see El Niño grow or continue into this coming winter 2015.  How useful are March winds and subsurface temperatures across the tropical Pacific Ocean in predicting winter El Niño or La Niña states?  

ENSO model forecasts thumbnail

The model predictions during 2014 were not that shabby.  A major, strong El Niño was not well justified by the predictions. 

The tropical Pacific Ocean sloshes around like water in your bathtub.  These waves are as important as the vortex of water that spirals down the drain.  

How to interpret climate outlooks and make $$$$ millions.*

**OK, maybe an overstatement, but you'll at least understand probabilistic forecasts better.  

How El Niño is like different flavors of ice cream.  Seriously.

OLR anomalies in 2012 versus 2014

Where is El Niño?  How is this year different from 2012 when El Niño was predicted, but never arrived?  

June 2014 SST anomalies

Why hasn't El Niño been declared yet?  The answer might lie in the gradients of sea surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific Ocean.  

The Signal and the Noise is often mentioned in reference to ENSO forecasting and not just in reference to Nate Silver’s bestselling book.  In fact, understanding what is signal and what is noise is critical to interpreting predictions from models and climate science in general.  

 

 

If the climate conditions that indicate ENSO are best measured as seasonal averages, will scientists wait for conditions to persist three months before declaring El Niño underway?

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