GFMC: Drought Warning for Indonesia but no El Niño expected: 21 February 2001

Drought Warning for Indonesia but no El Niñoexpected

21 February 2001

According the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) different rainfall forecasts are made for insular SE Asia for the first quarter of 2001.

According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) the forecasted global precipiation for three months starting 1 January 2001 shows a strong reduction of rainfall in Indonesia (Fig.1).

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Fig.1. Mean precipitation anomaly forecasted by the ECMWF

The Sea-Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies forecast is given in Figure 2.

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Fig.2. SST anomalies forecasted for the period January to March 2001. Source: ECMWF.

The El Niño outlook given by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) indicates that the wet La Niña conditions will continue. Original text from the CPC website:

“Cold episode (La Niña) conditions are expected to continue through the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) winter and into the NH spring of 2001, followed by near-normal conditions during the NH summer of 2001.

Based on current conditions in the tropical Pacific, on the NCEP SST predictions, and on results from historical studies on the effects of cold episodes, we expect wetter-than-normal conditions to prevail over Indonesia, northern Australia, and southern Africa during the remainder of the NH winter. Over the United States warmer-than-normal conditions are expected along the southern tier of states from southern California eastward to Florida, while cooler-than-average conditions are likely over western and central Canada and in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes.”


Important Notice by ECMWF Seasonal Forecasting

“The seasonal prediction programme has not reached an operational status. ECMWF started an experimental programme in seasonal prediction in 1995. This programme has not reached an operational status. Nonetheless, taking into account the exceptional El Niño event of 1997, and following overarching WMO requirements, the ECMWF Council has decided to make a range of products from the experimental programme of seasonal prediction available on this site.

Any user of the seasonal forecasting products contained within this server ( accepts all responsibility for the use. In particular, no claims of accuracy or precision of the forecasts will be made by the user which is inappropriate to their scientific basis. Feedback from users on their experience with the products would be welcomed by ECMWF.

The spatial maps are classified according to geographic region, field (eg precipitation or temperature), type of plot (ensemble mean or probability), and the period being forecast. Remember to read the plot description for these maps. Products are updated within the first week of each month.”

ECMWF states further: “Please remember also that our forecast system is experimental, and that the quality of these model output products is not yet well characterized. It is important to be aware of the known uncertainties in the forecasts. It is also important to read the relevant plot description. Do not attempt any use of these products without reading these files carefully first.”

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