La Niña Update-Forecast, October 2011
from IRI (the International Research Institute) for Climate and Society.
Climatologists know that El Niño and La Niña can have a Strong influence on our winter weather patterns in North America. So what is it looking like for this coming Winter?
Most of the set of dynamical and statistical models (see graph) predict La Niña conditions through this coming Winter season. Several computer models keep conditions neutral and only one forecasts a return to El Niño conditions.
The graph in this posting shows forecasts made by dynamical and statistical models for SST in the Nino 3.4 region for nine overlapping 3-month periods.
Note that the expected skills of the models, based on historical performance, are not equal to one another. The skills also generally decrease as the lead time increases.
Thirdly, forecasts made at some times of the year generally have higher skill than forecasts made at other times of the year--namely, they are better when made between June and December than when they are made between February and May.
Differences among the forecasts of the models reflect both differences in model design, and actual uncertainty in the forecast of the possible future SST scenario.