In recent decades, the tropical Pacific frequently experiences a new type of El Niño with warming center in the central tropical Pacific (i.e., the CP-El Niño) with distinct global climate effect to the traditional El Niño (i.e., EP-El Niño). Predicting the El Niño diversity is still a huge challenge for climatologists partly due to the precursory signals of El Niño events with different type is unclear. In the present study, a novel precursory signal that presents a negative sea surface temperature anomaly in the eastern tropical Pacific (i.e., EP-cooling mode) is revealed, which tends to evolve into a CP-El Niño event. The transition from the EP-cooling mode to CP-El Niño is explained by the basin-scale air-sea coupling in the tropical Pacific and teleconnections between the tropical and North Pacific. With the EP-cooling mode as a predictor, the forecast skill for the CP-El Niño in hindcast experiments is obviously improved by using regression models. The results in the present study are therefore instructive for promoting a better understanding of El Niño diversity and predictability.