Two distinct roles of Atlantic SSTs in ENSO variability: North Tropical Atlantic SST and Atlantic Niño



[1] Two distinct roles of the Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SSTs), namely, the North Tropical Atlantic (NTA) SST and the Atlantic Niño, on the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability are investigated using the observational data from 1980 to 2010 and coupled model experiments. It appears that the NTA SST and the Atlantic Niño can be used as two independent predictors for predicting the development of ENSO events in the following season. Furthermore, they are likely to be linked to different types of El Niño events. Specifically, the NTA SST cooling during February, March, and April contributes to the central Pacific warming at the subsequent winter season, while the negative Atlantic Niño event during June, July, and August contributes to enhancing the eastern Pacific warming. The coupled model experiments support these results. With the aid of a lagged inverse relationship, the statistical forecast using two Atlantic indices can successfully predict various ENSO indices.