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posted on 06 July 2015

6 July 2015 Weather and Climate Report - NOAA Updates July Outlook

Written by Sig Silber

The end of month update only covers the following month but sometimes that data also provides clues with respect to subsequent months - and I think that is the case this time. Also July does not appear to be evolving exactly as projected in the June 30 Update and involves a fairly complicated pattern change. Thus confidence in the second week of the 6 - 14 Day Outlook is less than usual. Meteorological Agencies continue to project that this El Nino will strengthen and hang around for a while but I will discuss why I think it is a short-timer. The North American Monsoon appears to be developing a bit further west than earlier predicted. So there is nothing major to discuss but there are a number of different issues which will impact weather where you live.

[xxxmore]

This is the Regular Edition of my weekly Weather and Climate Update Report. Additional information can be found here on Page II of the Global Economic Intersection Weather and Climate Report.

New maps were issued by NOAA for July on June 30. 2015 as part of their regular update schedule. The Seasonal Outlook will be updated on July 16, 2016.

Temperature

Prior Outlook

July 2015 Early Temperature Outlook Issued June 18, 2015

Revised Outlook

July Temperature Outlook Issues on June 30, 2015

Not much change other than a tendency for the colder than climatology area to tilt a bit to the east..

Precipitation

Prior Outlook

July 2015 Early Precipitation Outlook Issued June 18, 2015

Revised Outlook

July Precipitation Outlook Issued on June 30, 2015

Here we see the drier Northwest showing up and the wetter than climatology area extending further to the east and west. But the 6 - 14 Day Outlook is calling this monthly outlook into question to some extent.

It is useful to put the current month updated maps in context with the prior three-month Outlook. Unfortunately at the time I needed to submit this article NOAA had not yet posted the graphic on their website so I created my own version of what it will look like when it does get posted. THE GRAPHIC BELOW IS A MOCKUP OF WHAT I BELIEVE THE OFFICIAL NOAA GRAPHIC WILL LOOK LIKE. IT HAS NOT YET BEEN ISSUED BY NOAA. THE INDIVIDUAL MAPS ARE NOAA MAPS. I SIMPLY CREATED THE COMBINATION OF FOUR OF THEIR MAPS WHICH THEY WILL DO SHORTLY.  And I do this simply to make it easy to compare them rather rather than having to jump back and forth from four larger versions of these NOAA maps.

July - Sept 2015 Created by Sig Silber on  http://econintersect.com/images/2015/7/22999735JulAugSep2015threemonthsissuedJune302015SigsVersion.jpgJuly 6, 2015

As you can see there are differences between the updated July Outlook and the prior three-month Outlook. Such differences could be the fact that one month is only a third of a three-month outlook but earlier we observed that the updated July maps were a bit different than the maps issued on June 18. So I do believe the above is suggestive of some updated thinking about August and September which we can attempt to deduce from the above graphic. One might be concluding that August and September may have a slightly different warm-cool-warm west to east pattern much like the July map and one might be concluding that the  Midwest to the Northeast might we wetter. I am not drawing any conclusions about the Northwest as that was clearly explained as being an early-July impact.

Here are excerpts from the NOAA Discussion issued on June 30, 2015

30-DAY OUTLOOK DISCUSSION FOR JULY 2015

THIS UPDATE TO THE 30-DAY OUTLOOK FOR JULY, 2015 IS BASED SUBSTANTIALLY ON INFORMATION FROM SHORT-TERM WEATHER FORECASTS FOR THE FIRST 14 DAYS OF THE MONTH. ENSEMBLE FORECASTS FROM THE GEFS, CANADIAN, AND ECMWF MODELS SHOW GOOD CONSENSUS ON THE UPPER LEVEL CIRCULATION PATTERNS EXPECTED IN EARLY JULY. THE ASSOCIATED SURFACE TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION PATTERNS AGREE WELL WITH THE JULY OUTLOOK ISSUED IN MID-JUNE. EL NINO CONDITIONS HAVE MAINTAINED AMPLITUDE IN RECENT WEEKS AND CONTINUE TO BE ON TRACK WITH PREDICTIONS MADE IN THE LAST MONTH OR TWO.

MODELS PREDICT A MEAN RIDGE OVER WESTERN NORTH AMERICA WITH A DOWNSTREAM TROUGH FORECAST TO BE LOCATED NEAR THE EAST COAST OF THE CONUS [Editor's Note: Continental United States] DURING THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF JULY. THE GEFS PERSISTS THESE FEATURES INTO WEEKS 3 AND 4, ALTHOUGH THE ECMWF ENSEMBLES SUGGEST THAT THE PATTERN MAY BREAK DOWN IN THE LATTER HALF OF JULY. [Editor's Note: We may be seeing that in the 6 - 14 Day Outlook later in this report] FORECASTS FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE MONTH STRONGLY SUPPORT ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES OVER THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND ALASKA, RESULTING IN INCREASED CONFIDENCE FOR ABOVE-NORMAL MONTHLY MEAN TEMPERATURES RELATIVE TO THE OUTLOOK RELEASED IN MID-JUNE. THE EXPECTED TROUGH OVER THE EASTERN CONUS SHOULD FAVOR A COOL START TO THE MONTH FROM THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY TO PARTS OF THE NORTHEAST, RESULTING IN A NORTHEASTWARD EXTENSION OF THE AREA OF ENHANCED CHANCES FOR BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES INDICATED ON THE PREVIOUS OUTLOOK FOR JULY. OTHERWISE THE REVISED TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK IS FAIRLY SIMILAR TO THE OUTLOOK ISSUED AT MID-MONTH.

THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK IS HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY THE PRECIPITATION EXPECTED IN THE FIRST WEEK OF THE MONTH. THE FOLLOWING CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO THE JULY, 2015 OUTLOOK ISSUED AT MID-MONTH. FORECASTS FOR THE FIRST FEW DAYS OF THE MONTH INDICATE GOOD CHANCES FOR WET CONDITIONS FROM THE TENNESSEE VALLEY TO PARTS OF THE NORTHEAST. THIS PROMPTED AN ADJUSTMENT OF THE AREA FAVORING ABOVE-MEDIAN MONTHLY TOTAL PRECIPITATION EASTWARD TO THOSE REGIONS. THE CHANCES FOR BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION APPEAR SOMEWHAT HIGHER FOR PARTS OF EASTERN TEXAS THAN THEY DID ON THE OUTLOOK ISSUED A FEW WEEKS AGO ACCORDING TO THE SHORT-TERM FORECASTS, EXCEPT FOR EXTREME SOUTHERN PARTS OF THE STATE WHERE SOME PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED EARLY IN THE MONTH. SHORT-TERM FORECAST FAVOR ABOVE-MEDIAN RAINFALL THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE WEST, EXCEPT FOR THE NORTHERN ROCKIES AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. THIS LEADS TO A SLIGHT WESTWARD EXPANSION OF THE AREA FAVORING ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS INTO WESTERN NEVADA. AN EXPECTED DRY START TO THE MONTH INCREASES CHANCES FOR BELOW-MEDIAN MONTHLY PRECIPITATION TOTALS IN PARTS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. MODELS SUGGEST SOME RIDGING OVER ALASKA IN THE EARLY PART OF THE MONTH, ELEVATING CHANCES FOR BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IN SOUTHEASTERN PART OF THE STATE.

Current (Now to 5 Days forward) Weather Situation:  

For daily forecasts it is better to consult your local weather service or the weather service where you are traveling as these will be more specific. But I do have daily forecasts on Page II of the Report so you can always look at those as they auto-update. What I present here is information that normally is not made available via local weather forecasts and which can help you understand what some of the major drivers are for the local forecast. 

First here is a national 12 hour to 60 hour forecast of weather fronts shown as an animation. Beyond 60 hours, the maps are available in Part II of the Global Economic Intersection Weather and Climate Report.

current highs and lows

The explanation for the coding used in these maps, i.e. the full legend, can be found here.

The map below is the mid-atmosphere 7-Day chart rather than the surface highs and lows and weather features.  In some cases it provides a clearer less confusing picture as it shows only the major pressure gradients. You can see the Four Corners High where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico meet. At this time of the year, small changes in the location of that feature make a big difference in the weather of probably about ten or more states. Note the projected location of the Four Corners High. It possibly explains the projected western shift in the impacts of the North American Monsoon (which probably is more properly called the Sonoran Monsoon). .

It certainly explains the warmer than climatology conditions in Texas. But this High moves around a lot so by the time you view it most likely it will be located somewhere else. But you can always imaging the clockwise circulation and how that might impact the movement of moisture in from the Gulf of Mexico and up from Mexico and in from the Gulf of California. So this graphic can very very useful. And it auto-updates, I think every six hours.

7 Day 500 MB Geopotential Forecast

In the Tropical Weather Outlook graphic below, notice the stream of moisture moving north from Mexico into the Southwest. To some extent this is enhanced by the position of the extreme western edge of the influence of the Bermuda High. It is not a full fledge Southwest Monsoon but it is part of the pattern that is currently making CONUS unusually wet.

Eastern Pacific Tropical Storms

Below is another view which highlights the surface highs and the lows re air pressure on Day 6 (Day 3 can be seen in Part II of this Report). The Aleutian Low refuses to take its usual summer vacation and that may be related to the El Nino. The RRR has moved further off shore and the Northwest can now more easily receive warm wet air from the Pacific. You may be able to see an "L" on the map in that area but remember these maps update every six hours.

Day 6 Weather Forecast

Outlook Days 6 - 14 (but only showing the 8 - 14 Day Maps)

Here is a graphic of the July Outlook issued June 30, 2015:

July Temperature Outlook Issues on June 30, 2015

And here is the 8 - 14 Day Temperature Outlook issued today July 6, 2015.

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

It covers the week following the current week. Today's 6 - 14 Day Outlook is just nine days of the month and the map shown of the 8 to 14 day Outlook only shows seven days. Other than the Southeast, these is little resemblance to the updated monthly forecast issued just six days ago. NOAA describes the change as a southward shift in the pattern on the eastern half of CONUS.

And here is the Outlook for July Precipitation issued on June 30,  2015:

July Precipitation Outlook Issued on June 30, 2015

Here is the 8 - 14 Day Precipitation Outlook issued today July 6, 2015:

Curren 8 - 14 Day Precipitation Outlook

And again remember that this map shows only seven days and the full 6 - 14 Day Outlook only covers nine days. There are 31 days in July.

It looks like the situation in the Northwest has changed from earlier in the month and it now appears that the Northwest will participate in the precipitation party. This is consistent with the June 30 NOAA forecast. But the Southwest is likely to be less wet than foreseen on June 30. It is as if the drier than climatology area in Texas has been shifted to the north. So the temperature pattern further east has shifted to the south and the precipitation pattern a bit further west has been shifted to the north. That also has shifted the entry point of the North American Monsoon a bit to the west. It looks to me like the Bermuda High is having an impact on the pattern and we can expect that to often be the case in Spring and Summer for the next thirty years due to the progression of the AMO.from AMO+ to AMO- and the influence of the AMO on the positioning of the Bermuda High. NOAA does not discuss the Bermuda High very much in terms of overall weather patterns in CONUS and does not seem to consider the interaction of the Bermuda High location and the AMO progression. I have discussed this a few weeks ago and may repeat that discussion again in the near future but the articles are available on Page II of this Report. 

Here are excerpts from the NOAA discussion released today July 6, 2015.

6-10 DAY OUTLOOK FOR JUL 12 - 16 2015

TODAY'S ENSEMBLE MEAN SOLUTIONS ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT ON THE 500-HPA MEAN CIRCULATION PATTERN ANTICIPATED OVER MOST OF THE NORTH AMERICA DOMAIN FOR THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD, BUT THE DETERMINISTIC RUNS PREDICT SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES.  THE ENSEMBLE MEANS DEPICT A MEAN TROUGH NEAR THE WEST COAST OF NORTH AMERICA,  WITH ITS ASSOCIATED CLOSED VORTEX CENTERED OVER THE EASTERN BERING SEA, AND  ANOTHER TROUGH CENTERED OVER EASTERN NORTH AMERICA. AN AMPLIFIED RIDGE IS  FORECAST OVER THE INTERIOR OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA, WITH THE RIDGE AXIS IN THE  APPROXIMATE VICINITY OF THE ROCKIES. THE PREDICTED SUBTROPICAL RIDGE EXTENDS  ACROSS MOST OF THE SUBTROPICAL PORTIONS OF THE PACIFIC AND ATLANTIC BASINS, AND  THE SOUTHERN CONUS. THE DETERMINISTIC RUNS DIFFER FROM THE ENSEMBLE MEANS IN  SEVERAL WAYS. THE SINGLE 00Z ECMWF SOLUTION DEPICTS TWO TROUGH AXES IN THE EASTERN CONUS. THE FIRST IS NEAR THE ATLANTIC COAST, AND THE SECOND EXTENDS ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES, AND THE MIDDLE AND LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. THE 00Z  DETERMINISTIC GFS SOLUTION PREDICTS AN AMPLIFIED TROUGH-RIDGE-TROUGH PATTERN  ENCOMPASSING THE REGION FROM THE FAR EASTERN PACIFIC TO THE EASTERN CONUS. THE  06Z DETERMINISTIC GFS FORECASTS SOME DISRUPTION IN THE RIDGE EXPECTED ACROSS  WEST-CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA, WITH MUCH FLATTER FLOW ACROSS THE SOUTHERN CANADIAN  PRAIRIES AND NORTHERN US GREAT PLAINS. THIS MODEL SOLUTION ALSO DEPICTS THE EASTWARD ADVECTION OF THE TROUGH EXPECTED OVER EASTERN CANADA, THOUGH KEEPS THE CONUS PORTION OF THE TROUGH IN PLACE OVER THE U.S. EAST COAST STATES. 

THE 06Z GFS AND 00Z CANADIAN ENSEMBLE SPAGHETTI MAPS INDICATE MODERATE SPREAD ASSOCIATED WITH THE EXPECTED TROUGH JUST OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTH AMERICA,  WITH SIGNIFICANTLY LESS DISPERSION BETWEEN ENSEMBLE MEMBERS (IMPROVED  AGREEMENT) WITH THE PREDICTED WEST-CENTRAL CONUS RIDGE AND EASTERN CONUS  TROUGH. THE 00Z ECMWF ENSEMBLE SPAGHETTI MAPS INDICATE MODERATE SPREAD WITH THE  WEST COAST TROUGH, WITH ONLY SLIGHTLY LESS DISPERSION FOR THE DOWNSTREAM  RIDGE-TROUGH COUPLET.

ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED ACROSS APPROXIMATELY THE SOUTHEASTERN QUARTER OF THE CONTIGUOUS U.S., THE PLAINS, THE NORTHERN ROCKIES, THE PACIFIC  NORTHWEST, AND NORTHERN AND FAR WESTERN ALASKA. THIS IS GENERALLY CONSISTENT  WITH THE PREDICTED 500-HPA HEIGHT AND ANOMALY PATTERN, THE GEFS CALIBRATED AND  UNCALIBRATED RE-FORECAST TEMPERATURES, NAEFS BIAS-CORRECTED TEMPERATURES, AND  THE AUTOMATIC BLENDED TEMPERATURES. BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED  ACROSS MUCH OF THE SOUTHERN COAST OF ALASKA, CENTRAL AND SOUTH-CENTRAL PORTIONS  OF BOTH THE INTER-MOUNTAIN REGION AND ROCKIES, AND THE GREAT LAKES REGION. THIS IS BASED ON THE SAME TOOLS NOTED ABOVE.

ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS GENERALLY INDICATED AHEAD OF THE TROUGH PREDICTED  NEAR THE WEST COAST OF NORTH AMERICA, AND ALSO WITH THE TROUGH PREDICTED IN THE EASTERN CONUS. BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED ACROSS MOST OF THE CENTRAL THIRD OF THE CONUS, THE FLORIDA PENINSULA, AND THE NORTH SLOPE OF ALASKA. THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK IS BASED ON THE GEFS CALIBRATED AND UNCALIBRATED  RE-FORECAST PRECIPITATION, NAEFS PRECIPITATION, AUTO-BLEND PRECIPITATION, AND  IS GENERALLY CONSISTENT WITH THE ANTICIPATED 500-HPA HEIGHT AND ANOMALY MAP.

FORECAST CONFIDENCE FOR THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD: ABOVE AVERAGE, 4 OUT OF 5,  DUE TO GOOD AGREEMENT AMONG THE ENSEMBLE MEANS, BUT OFFSET SOMEWHAT BY THE UNCERTAINTIES INTRODUCED BY THE DETERMINISTIC MODELS.

8-14 DAY OUTLOOK FOR JUL 14 - 20 2015 

THE WEEK-2 ENSEMBLE MEAN PREDICTIONS OF THE MID-TROPOSPHERIC CIRCULATION PATTERN ACROSS NORTH AMERICA ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT, AND CONSISTENT WITH THE PREDICTED MEAN CIRCULATION PATTERN ANTICIPATED FOR THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD. RECENT RUNS OF THE DETERMINISTIC GFS (00Z, 06Z, AND 12Z), HOWEVER, SHOW VERY SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES WITH EACH OTHER AND WITH OTHER MODEL SOLUTIONS. THE 00Z GFS SOLUTION PREDICTS A PATTERN THAT IS VERY SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD. THE 06Z GFS, HOWEVER, IS COMPLETELY OUT OF PHASE, FORECASTING A TROUGH OVER THE WESTERN CONUS, AND A RIDGE OVER THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN CONUS. THE 12Z  GFS FLATTENS THE FLOW ACROSS THE WESTERN CONUS, AND REINTRODUCES A TROUGH OVER THE EASTERN CONUS. THE 500-HPA MANUAL BLEND IS THEREFORE BASED ALMOST ENTIRELY ON THE ENSEMBLE MEAN FORECASTS. ENSEMBLE SPREAD IS CONSIDERED MODERATE ACROSS MOST OF THE CONUS TODAY, AND HIGH OFF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST IN REGARD TO THE PREDICTED TROUGH.  

THE SURFACE TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS FOR WEEK-2 ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE FOR THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD, THOUGH THERE ARE SOME DIFFERENCES. THE MORE  NOTICEABLE CHANGES INCLUDE THE ANTICIPATION OF A MORE EXTENSIVE AREA OF  BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES FROM THE MIDDLE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY EAST-NORTHEASTWARD  ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES AND NORTHEAST, AND A CORRESPONDING SOUTHWARD  DISPLACEMENT OF PREDICTED ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE DEEP SOUTH. THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK IS A BIT MORE UNCERTAIN, AS INDICATED BY LARGER VARIATIONS AMONG THE DIFFERENT TOOLS. THE EXPECTED AREA OF ABOVE-MEDIAN  PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE NORTHEASTERN QUARTER OF THE CONUS IS IN GENERAL AGREEMENT WITH THE IDEA OF A WESTWARD SHIFTED TROUGH FROM THE OHIO VALLEY TO THE MIDWEST.

FORECAST CONFIDENCE FOR THE 8-14 DAY PERIOD IS: BELOW AVERAGE, 2 OUT OF 5,   PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF THE LARGE UNCERTAINTIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE LAST 3 RUNS OF  THE DETERMINISTIC GFS MODEL, AND SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES IN THE PRECIPITATION  TOOLS.

Analogs to Current Conditions

Now let us take a detailed look at the "Analogs" which NOAA provides related to the 5 day period centered on 3 days ago and the 7 day period centered on 4 days ago. "Analog" means that the weather pattern then resembles the recent weather pattern and was used in some way to predict the 6 - 14 day Outlook.

Here are today's analogs in chronological order although this information is also available with the analog dates listed by the level of correlation. I find the chronological order easier for me to work with. There is a second set of analogs associated with the outlook but I have not been analyzing this second set of information. This first set applies to the 5 and 7 day observed pattern prior to today. The second set which I am not using relates to the forecast outlook 6 - 10 days out to similar patterns that have occurred in the past during the dates covered by the 6 - 10 Day Outlook. That may also be useful information but they put this set of analogs in the discussion with the other set available by a link so I am assuming that this set of analogs is the most meaningful.

Analog

Centered

Day

ENSO

Phase

PDO AMO Other Comments
1951 June 26 El Nino - +  
1951 June 27 El Nino - +  
1952 July 11 Neutral - +  
1987 June 27 El Nino + + Some classify this as a Modoki
1995 June 29 Neutral + +  
1999 July 12 La Nina - +  

 

It is interesting that of the ten possible analogs, there were four duplicates which suggest that the prior week has had a fairly consistent pattern. There are ten analogs provided by NOAA and the most duplicates there can be would be five and this week there were four which is the most I have seen since I started to look at them. Also of interest is the three 1951 and 1952 analogs. That was a period of extreme Southwest drought but there was a moderate El Nino in 1951 and again in 1952 but later in the year than the analog provided. The ocean conditions during that period were McCabe D. So even during a period when the oceans signify Southwest drought, there are El Ninos. The ocean phases associated with the analogs this week point towards McCabe Condition C or D. They are pretty much mirror images of each other and the location of wet and dry is controlled by the PDO. That is another reason for the quandary about the latter part of the 6 - 14 Day Outlook.

 McCabe Maps modified to include the subtitles

You may have to squint but the drought probabilities are shown on the map and also indicated by the color coding with shades of red indicating higher than 25% of the years are drought years (25% or less of average precipitation for that area) and shades of blue indicating less than 25% of the years are drought years. Thus drought is defined as the condition that occurs 25% of the time and this ties in nicely with each of the four pairs of two phases of the AMO and PDO.

Historical Anomaly Analysis

When I see the same dates showing up often I find it interesting to consult this list.

Progress of the Warm Event

Let us start with the SOI.

Below is the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) reported by Queensland, Australia. The first column is the tentative daily reading, the second is the 30 day running average and the third is the 90 day average.

Date Current Reading 30-Day Average 90 Day Average
30 June 2015 -21.5 -10.30   -9.03
01 July 2015 -21.6 -11.49   -9.42
02 July 2015 -32.7 -12.80   -9.80
03 July 2015 -34.6 -14.05 -10.19
04 July 2015 -30.7 -15.11 -10.62
05 July 2015 -10.7 -15.31 -10.83
06 July 2015  +2.8 -15.14 -10.77

 

This past week, for the second week in a row the SOI exploded to the downside which in theory assists the development of the current El Nino but in practice may be too late. The 30-day average, which is the most widely used measure, on July 6 was reported as being -15.14 which is clearly an  El Nino reading. The 90-day average also is now again in El Nino territory at -10.77.

The presumed reason for this quite likely is the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) which is a 40 to 60 day cycle around the Equator and is in its active phase right now where the SOI is calculated. It is controversial as to whether or not the MJO has an impact on Kelvin Waves. But we need to pay attention to whether or not this active phase of the MJO leads to a new wind burst and new Kelvin Wave. This will occur again probably around Mid-August so that will be last time that the MJO may impact this El Nino.

Here are the low-level wind anomalies. This graphic is not as compact as the graphic provided by the weekly NOAA ENSO Report (more white space) but this version auto-updates so you will always have the latest version of this Hovmoeller. As you can see, the wind gust of a several weeks ago at 160E is over and a subsequent less intense wind gust at 160W to 140W has also played out. There may be some activity starting in the Western Pacific that is just starting to show up on this graphic. Take a look over at 130E to 140E which by chance happens to be Darwin Australia one pole of the SOI Index. I think this is too far west to impact the current El Nino. But we can now see some very intense activity at 160E which is much more significant and needs to be monitored. 160E is where the prior Kelvin Waves formed and if you look earlier in this Hovmoeller you can see that in Feb, Mar, and May. Will it happen again now? That is very very important. Is there enough warm water there to create a substantial Kelvin Wave?  I do not think so.

Low Level Wlind Anomalies

Here is another graphic that is less compact than the prettied up version published by NOAA on Mondays but which has the advantage of auto-updating. You can see how the convection pattern (really cloud tops has in May shifted to the East from a Date Line (180) Modoki pattern to a 170W to 120W Traditional/Canonical El Nino Pattern. The signs of an El Nino are getting quite faint and shifting to the west.  The probably impacts on CONUS are thus lessened.

OLR Anomalies Along the Equator

Let us now take a look at the progress of the Kevin wave which is the key to the situation.  I like this Hovmoeller a lot and I have now been able to find a version that autoupdates but is not prettied up.  I will take the auto-update feature.  You can see the Kelvin Wave that got started in February which started this Warm Event. There have been earlier such events that proved to be not very strong. But if you look at the bottom of the Hovmoeller which represents the current situation, you can see that this latest Kelvin Wave is moving to the East fairly rapidly and we will see the impact of that on declining ONI estimates fairly soon. The strongest impact is no longer shown on this graphic as it occurred a week or two ago. The main impact of this Kelvin Wave is already East of 170 West the western-most extension of the Nino 3.4 region. In less than two months it has moved to the east 30 degrees of longitude so I think that within 2.5 months (i.e. Early October 2015), the ONI values will be way under 1.0 and very close to ENSO Neutral. OH MY GOSH. On the NOAA version of this graphic in their weekly ENSO EVOLUTION REPORT they actually highlighted with the following comment: "Since early June, an upwelling phase of a Kelvin wave has shifted eastward". the upwelling wave to the left or west side of this graphic which signifies the end of this El Nino event. I have discussed that area of cooler water for a couple of months and today NOAA has recognized it. So far there is no indication of a follow-up Kelvin wave being created but that will be noticeable or not within a week or so. I suspect that it will not happen. If it does not happen, I believe the various computer forecast models will turn out to have been very over-optimistic about the duration of this El Nino. Impacts however can linger for a couple of months after a Warm Event no longer registers as an El Nino as weather teleconnections do not travel at the speed of light but more like at the speed of wind.and weather patterns.  

Kelvin Waves Auto-updates

You can see below in the graphic which shows temperature along the Equator as a function of depth, both the magnitude of the anomalies and their size. You can now see where 2C (anomaly) water is impacting the area where the ONI is measured i.e. 170W to 120W. The 2C anomaly now extends to about 135W and the blips visible further to the west are no longer evident. The subsurface warm water appears to be making its way to the surface to some extent.  This will be apparent when we discuss the TAO/TRITON graphic and my crude estimation of the ONI value that that I develop from that graphic.

The big issue is where will the +6C anomaly water go as it reaches the beaches of Ecuador? To the extent it surfaces it can create convection and impact the Walker Circulation which could then provide positive feedback to this El Nino. But that warm water might tend to go north or south or both. That is part of the phase out process for an El Nino and that is where we are in the life of this El Nino. It is peaking and will soon begin its decline.

Subsurface Heat Anomalies

The bottom half of the graphic is not that useful in terms of tracking the progress of this Warm Event as it simply shows the thermocline between warm and cool water which pretty much looks like this as shown here during a Warm Event and you can see that the cooler water is not making it to the surface to the east along the coast of Ecuador. However, one is beginning to see possibly a slight increase in the slope of the thermocline and the increase in that slope would be the final change as the El Nino dies. . 

In the upper graphic, notice the boundary of the 1.5C plus water temperature anomaly (which is now the 1.0C plus water temperature anomaly) is now close to 170W and moving towards the East. That is why I believe the ONI will soon peak and begin to decline. We shall see. There could be another Kelvin Wave forming and there is the issue of how the Walker Circulation might extend the life of this Warm Event. In this regard you might want to read the following post. A key graphic from that post which is a standard graphic is below.

Walker Circulation

The problem with the above graphic is that it represents the ideal case. You can see the uniform nature of the cells/loops which are areas of rising air and convection (precipitation) and areas where the warm air subsides. Where the air is rising that is an area of low pressure and where the air is subsiding those are areas of high pressure. Things always have to equalize. But the pattern is not always as shown. I believe that in the 1997 El Nino there was a giant Kelvin Circulation that extended from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean not the two cells shown above. So the general case and the variations are important. That is why it is important that we differentiate between Modokis and Traditional El Ninos which have different Walker circulations. This is a good article on the 1997 Super El Nino. I am not in any way suggesting that this El Nino is at all like the 1997/98 El Nino but simply pointing out that the details of each Warm Event are different and that we can not just group them all together and expect to make sense of things.

Back to the TAO/TRITON graphic below, notice the the Warm Event is no longer symmetric around the Equator but tends to be substantially north of the Equator. I am not prepared to explain that but one can see that the entire Pacific is kind of shifted north. It may be related to the Bermuda High but it could be many other factors. I am not qualified to tell you how this will impact our weather. We will observe it together. It clearly impacts the details of the Walker Circulation and the Hadley Circulation also.

For my own amusement, I thought I would recalculate the ONI again as I have been doing recently. To refine my calculation I have totally changed my approach and rather than having the anomalies be the way I organized the data, I have divided the 170W to 120W ONI measuring area into five subregions (that I have designated A through E) and have mentally integrated what I see below and recorded that in the table I have constructed. Then I take the average of the anomalies I estimated for each of the five subregions. So now I am applying more subjectivity but it should produce a better estimate.

Current SST and wind anomalies

------------------------------------------------------    Nino 3.4 Measurement Area -------------------
   A B C D E  

 

So as of Monday July 6 in the afternoon working from the July 5 TAO/TRITON report, this is what I calculated which is basically the same as my calculation last week although the patterns of the anomalies have been changing around quite a bit but the changes have been cancelling each other out. :

Calculation of ONI from TAO/TRITON Graphic
Anomaly Segment Estimated Anomaly
A. 170W to 160W 1.3
B. 160W to 150W 1.4
C. 150W to 140W 1.4
D. 140W to 130W 1.5
E. 130W to 120W 1.7
Total 7.3
Total divided by five subregions i.e. the ONI (7.3)/5 = 1.46

 

My estimate of the Nino 3.4 ONI is again 1.46. NOAA has today reported the weekly ONI as again being 1.4 I think that is the third week in a row. Nino 4 has now declined to 1.0.  You can already see (in my calculation table) the gradient from West to East that has formed with the higher values in the East and the Western part of the Zone having a smaller anomaly which I believe will soon decline slightly.

Here is another way of looking at it:

.SST Anomalies Hovmoeller

This Hovmoeller shows a lot of useful information. I could copy it into MSPaint and draw some lines on it but then it would not auto-updates so I do not wish to do that. But take a lot at 140E 160E, 165E, 180 (The International Date Line), 120W and 90W. Remember reading from top to bottom one is reading the earlier times to the more current times. So you can see how this Warm Event started at 140E, has moved to 160E and then to 165E and lately you can see continued movement towards 180, which it has now reached, but very slowly.  You can especially see the impact east of 90W where the Kelvin Wave is crashing into Ecuador. Also more warmer water has expanded towards 120 W. The eastern progress of this Kelvin Wave has been slower than I had anticipated but now appears to be speeding up. The formation of the second part of the Kelvin Wave or a second Kelvin Wave if you prefer has extended the time during which the Kelvin Wave has been impacting the Equator.  Leaving aside the SOI issue which until the past two weeks was no longer consistent with an El Nino, but has come to life perhaps just temporarily, this is clearly an El Nino type sea-surface temperature (SST) pattern right now. But to me it seems to be a pattern that will play out as it does not appear to be going to be reinforced.

You will not see the ONI decline until the warm water over at  180. The International Date Line, has moved to 170W. Until then, the ONI could easily continue to rise but probably not by very much although some models are predicting it will peak at about 2.0. Once the warm surface water no longer extends west of 170W the ONI should begin to decline.

The View From Australia

POAMA Nino 3.4 Issued July 6, 2015

And here is the discussion.

Tropical cyclone activity may boost El Niño

Issued on 7 July 2015

The 2015 El Niño is likely to strengthen in the coming weeks, largely due to recent tropical cyclone activity. Several tropical cyclones, including a rare July cyclone in the southern hemisphere, have resulted in a strong reversal of trade winds near the equator. This is likely to increase temperatures below the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean, which may in turn raise sea surface temperatures further in the coming months.

All international climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology suggest El Niño will persist until at least the end of 2015. Models also indicate that further warming is likely. Historically, El Niño reaches peak strength during late spring or early summer.

El Niño is typically associated with below-average winter and spring rainfall over eastern Australia and above-average daytime temperatures over the southern half of the country during the second half of the year. However, the strength of El Niño does not always determine the strength of its effect on Australia's climate. Read more about how El Niño might affect Australia.

Many other factors, such as the state of the Indian Ocean, also influence Australia's climate. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. Of the five international models that provide IOD outlooks, three suggest a positive IOD is likely during the southern hemisphere spring. A positive IOD is typically associated with reduced winter and spring rainfall over parts of southern and central Australia.

And the IOD

POAMA IOD Issued July 5, 2015

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. The latest weekly value of the IOD index to 21 June is −0.07 °C. Temperatures in the Indian Ocean are warmer than average over much of the basin.

Three of the five surveyed international climate models indicate a positive IOD event will occur during the southern hemisphere winter or spring. [Editor's Note: Remember Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere so their seasons are the opposite of seasons in the Northern Hemisphere.]

Positive IOD events, often associated with lower rainfall in central and southeastern Australia, are more likely to occur during El Niño. Approximately 50% to 60% of the time that El Niño has developed in the past, a positive IOD has also developed. Positive IOD events are often associated with lower rainfall in central and southeastern Australia. Conditions will be monitored closely.

Pulling it All Together

We are in El Nino conditions now. It is probably influencing the IOD to tend towards being positive thus providing a double whammy for parts of Asia and Australia. The length and intensity of this El Nino is still not clear mostly in terms of whether or not it will extend into the early part of 2016.  All the computer models predict that it will last longer than my mental model suggests to me. The disagreement is in terms of a couple of months but a couple of months makes a difference in terms of agriculture and other economic impacts. We may or may not have a Pacific Climate Shift as the PDO+ may be simply related to the Warm Event (and quite frankly at this point appears to be). But for now we do have PDO+. The AMO being an overturning may be more predictable so the Neutral status moving towards AMO- is probably fairly reliable but not necessarily proceeding in a straight line. So none of this is very difficult to figure out actually if you are looking at say a five-year forecast.The research on Ocean Cycles is fairly conclusive and widely available to those who seek it out. I provided a lot of information on this in prior weeks and all of that information is preserved in Part II of my report which you can get to below. It includes decade by decade predictions through 2050. Predicting a particular year is far harder. But we are beginning to speculate on the winter of 2016/201 which I believe will tend to be ENSO Neutral. One thing is fairly certain for the U.S. it will be less wet and warmer than the winter of 2015/2016 which will be quite wet and cool.

Click Here for the Global Economic Intersection Weather and Climate Report. Page II where you will find:

  • A more complete set of NOAA and other agency graphics (including international agencies) that auto update. So this includes both short term- and seasonal "updates". Most of the graphics will ALWAYS be up to date even if my commentary on the graphics is not. I update my commentary when it seems necessary and certainly every Monday, but some of these graphics auto update every six hours.
  • Economic and other Impacts of major weather events. Not sure there is any other place to obtain this information consistently other than very specialized subscription services.
  • Information on Climate Cycles both those which are fairly short term i.e. less than a decade in duration and multi-decadal cycles.
  • Economic and other Impacts of those Climate Cycles which are referred to by the IPCC as Internal Variability as opposed to secular Climate Change which is always in the same direction. Again I am not sure if there is another source for this information where it is pulled together in one place as I have.

My Editor tells me that he will show me how to create a Table of Contents for Part II to make it easier to navigate.

Click Here for Page III which deals with Global Warming.

  • Information on Anthropogenic Global Warming science i.e. the secular change in our climate that overlays both short-term weather and historical climate cycles as well as black swan events like volcanic eruptions. I prefer to call this Global Warming as it is the warming that triggers the other changes.
  • Economic and other Impacts of Global Warming. The IPCC AR5 WG2 attempts to describe and quantify these and I have some excerpts from their report. Over time I will go beyond their report as it is very deficient.

Click here for a list of Sig Silber's Weather Posts

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