Was a Strong 2014 El Niño Really Ever Forecast?

Given the headlines and breathless commentators in the Spring and early Summer of 2014 there seemed to have been wide expectations of a strong El Niño beginning about now.  But was a strong El Nino really ever forecast for this winter?


A look at the monthly IRI mid-month forecasts beginning in February would argue, with the exception of a blip in April into the low-moderate category, that the 25 models represented in the IRI "plume" have consistently been portraying a weak event.  [That blip and some of the April hypebole may have been the result of the extensive sub-surface pool of anomalously warm water being transported eastward by a large Kelvin wave at the time.] 

The values portrayed in the graph below are the averages for the forecast members from the dynamic and statistical model categories and then the overall average.  But even looking at individual members, there was no month with mone than one member into the strong category, and most had none.

Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services

 If you have trouble viewing the image below, it can also be found at:  http://ggweather.com/enso/fcsts.jpg