A note on PDO forecasting


Seasonal to interannual forecasts for the state of the PDO index (based on a pattern of North Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs)) are an emerging science. A major source of uncertainty in developing PDO forecasts is our lack of understanding of what causes the observed multi-year persistence in the PDO index and, more importantly, what triggers PDO regime shifts. However, a strong tendency for year-to-year persistence of the PDO index along with a well-established statistical relationship with the state of ENSO provides a means for making skillful 1-year projections of the PDO index.

For more information on this one-year lead-time PDO forecast method, see Newman, M., G. P. Compo, and M. A. Alexander, 2003. ENSO-forced variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Journal of Climate 16: 3853-3857.

Note: Experimental PDO and Pacific Seasonal Forecasts are now available (as of June 2007) from NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory.