Year in Review
J-SCOPE forecasts rely on output from NCEP's Coupled Forecast System (CFS) for the climate forcing, so it is worthwhile to consider the quality of the CFS predictions from early 2014 in analysis of the J-SCOPE forecasts for 2014. Here we take a regional perspective; folks interested in more quantitative results for the CFS model over an extended period and more on the basin scale, are encouraged to check out the Journal of Climate articles by Wen et al. (2012) and Hu et al. (2012). These studies indicate that the CFS has substantial skill in predicting SST in the Northeast Pacific for lead times of less than about six months, in general. The predictions from the CFS made in early 2014 indicated ENSO-neutral conditions transitioning to El Niño conditions toward the end of 2014. Averaging across the ensemble of CFS predictions, the ENSO forecast from the CFS captured the overall trend and timing of transitioning from ENSO-neutral to El Niño conditions, although the amplitudes of the ENSO positive conditions were overpredicted by the CFS.
The CFS predictions from early 2014 indicated the persistence of slightly warmer than normal sea surface temperature (SST) off the coast of the Pacific Northwest until fall of 2014 when SST was forecasted to decrease. However, during the start of 2014 the actual SSTs were approximately normal but began to increase in the fall. More information can be found here.