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posted on 09 May 2016

May 9, 2016 Weather and Climate Report - Next Winter - La Nina or ENSO Neutral?

Written by Sig Silber

ENSO is a persistent but irregular cycle caused by the rotation of the Earth which due to friction creates Easterly winds on the Equator which skim off the surface warm water and drive it to the Western Pacific. That creates what is labeled La Nina. On occasion, the process reverses and the accumulated warm water is able to move east to South America and that creates what is labeled El Nino. There is no doubt that this El Nino is waning and the pendulum is swinging in the other direction. What is not clear is how fast the pendulum will swing and will next winter be a La Nina or ENSO Neutral winter and if it is La Nina, how strong it will be. We discuss this and will be discussing and tracking this until we know the answer.

 weather.caption

 

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.

Let's Now Focus on the Current (Right Now to 5 Days Out) Weather Situation.

A more complete version of this report with daily forecasts is available in Part II. This is a summary of that more extensive report.  Worldwide Weather: Current and Three-Month Outlooks: 15 Month Outlooks will take you directly to that set of information but it may take a few seconds for your browser to go through the two-step process of getting to Page II and then moving to the Section within Page II that is specified by this link.

Characteristics of a Weekly Weather Column.

Many graphics in this report are auto-updated by the source of the graphic. It is always my choice as the writer to allow these graphics to auto-update or "freeze them" to what they looked like when I write the article. Generally speaking graphics in research themes which appear above this point do not auto-update as they come from published scientific papers. When I make the decision to allow certain graphics to auto-update, it creates two issues:

A. As the graphic updates, my commentary becomes out of sync with the new version of the graphic. This can be very extreme if for example you take a look at my report from months ago.

B. On rare occasions, source sites for graphics go down and the graphic does not appear in the article and you probably see white space.  If you experience such an event and that graphic is important to your understanding of the report, please return later to view my weather and climate column.  Sometimes the "outage" is only for several minutes, but often the duration can be a number of hours or even one or more days.  We feel that this inconvenience is preferable to looking at "frozen" weather map images that do not update since I write the article on Monday evenings and you probably do not read it until Tuesday and perhaps later in the week. So I want you to have the advantage of seeing the most up-to-date graphics. If the source is down, the white space is the price paid for most of the time being able to see the latest available graphics.

 

First, here is a national animation of weather front and precipitation forecasts with four 6-hour projections of the conditions that will apply covering the next 24 hours and a second day of two 12-hour projections the second of which is the forecast for 48 hours out and to the extent it applies for 12 hours, this animation is intended to provide coverage out to 60 hours. Beyond 60 hours, additional maps are available at the link provided above.

current highs and lows

The explanation for the coding used in these maps, i.e. the full legend, can be found here although it includes some symbols that are no longer shown in the graphic because they are implemented by color coding.

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.This graphic auto-updates so when you look at it you will see NOAA's latest thinking. The speed at which these troughs and ridges travel across the nation will determine the timing of weather impacts. This graphic auto-updates I think every six hours and it changes a lot.

7 Day 500 MB Geopotential Forecast

Because "Thickness Lines" are shown by those green lines on this graphic, it is a good place to define "Thickness"  and its uses. The 540 Level general signifies equal chances for snow at sea level locations. I am leaving this explanation in the report but it may not be very significant until next October or so.  The 7 Day Outlook indicates a large Trough moving towards the East Coat and a less pronounced Ridge being pushed by a Trough moving from the West Coast to the East. Remember, this is a Day 7 Forecast.

The MJO is not likely to have much of an impact for the month of May as a whole as this MJO cycle appears to be weak and the forecasts of phase changes are contradictory. The MJO has had significant impacts this winter but the impact on May is not likely to be very noticeable.

Notice the Northern Pacific is like a giant anticyclone with clockwise motion so that which gets sent west due to El Nino is to some extent returned to North America but at higher latitudes. I am trying to see if I can discern a change in pattern towards lower latitudes for storms arriving from the Western Pacific but so far I do not see that in this animation.

Western Pacific Tropical Activity

As I am looking at the below graphic Monday evening May 9, I see a dry West and wet East pattern and the continued northerly displacement of the overall storm track. In the last few weeks the storm track has moved to the south slightly. But that seems to have ended for the time being. This graphic updates automatically so it most likely will look different by the time you look at it as the weather patterns are moving from west to east.

 Water Vapor Imagery

Below is an analysis of projected tropical hazards and benefits over an approximately two-week period. This graphic is scheduled to update on Tuesday and I am reading the May 3, 2016 Version and looking at Week 2 of that forecast.
Tropical Hazards

Mostly I see for the period May 11  -  May 17, 2016  a moderate confidence for a wet anomaly off Northern East Africa and again including and south of the tip of India and further east another similar anomaly over Indochina. That is all that is shown.

Below is a graphic which highlights the forecasted surface Highs and the Lows re air pressure on Day 6 (the Day 3 forecast is available on Page II of this Report). This graphic also auto-updates.

Day 6 Weather Forecast

All of a sudden the Aleutian Low seems to have retired for the Summer. We will have to see if that is temporary. In recent weeks, the projected location and strength of the Aleutian Low has varied a lot. On some days, the forecast is showing a split low with each of the two lows weaker than a combined single Low. hPa of 1008 (lower hPa is stronger). The average in the winter is 1001hPa and 994 hPa for a non-split Low.
The High Pressure off of California, the familiar RRR, is here and is normal for this time of the year unlike during the winter.  A longer discussion of the climate of Beringia and the role of the Aleutian Low is in Part II of this Report:  2. Medium Frequency Cycles such as ENSO and IOD.  I think last week I provided some links to articles on the importance of semipermanent Highs and Lows and possible changes in the patterns of these highs and lows which could be related to a Climate Shift (cycle) in the Pacific or Global Warming.
All I want to say now is that what we have in the Pacific is a dry pattern for CONUS re weather originating from the Pacific Ocean. It is a different configuration than what we have been seeing but it has the same impact i.e. most Pacific storms are entering CONUS via the U.S. Northwest or British Columbia Canada.

Looking at the current activity of the Jet Stream

Current Jet Stream

The path of the current weather pattern is fairly clear from this graphic.  But the Jet Stream now is fairly weak.

And here is the forecast out five days. 

Jet Stream Five Days Out

Not all weather is controlled by the Jet Stream (which is a high altitude phenomenon) but it does play a major role in steering storm systems. In some cases however a Low Pressure System becomes separated or "cut off" from the Jet Stream. In that case it's movements may be more difficult to predict until that disturbance is again recaptured by the Jet Stream.

To see how the pattern is projected to evolve, please click here. In addition to the shaded areas which show an interpretation of the Jet Stream, one can also see the wind vectors (arrows) at the 300 Mb level.

This longer animation shows how the jet stream is crossing the Pacific and when it reaches the U.S. West Coast is going every which way.

Click here to gain access to a very flexible computer graphic. You can adjust what is being displayed by clicking on "earth" adjusting the parameters and then clicking again on "earth" to remove the menu. Right now it is set up to show the 500 hPa wind patterns which is the main way of looking at synoptic weather patterns.

And when we look at Sea Surface anomalies below, we see a lot of them not just along the Equator related to El Nino.

Daily SST Anomaly

The waters off of Japan remain warm but further north off of Kamchatka they are cold. The Indian Ocean is very warm except off the west coast of Australia. The overall Northern Pacific is indeed PDO Positive (the horseshoe pattern with the cool anomaly inside the horseshoe shape). I have seen a report that the PDO Index rose to 2.4 in March which with El Nino fading may be significant. The water off the West Coast of North America is very warm but does not extend nearly as far south as recently. And the water off of Peru is no longer extremely cool. One no longer really sees an El Nino other than the warm area south of the Equator from about 140W to the Dateline. There is a very narrow cool anomaly right along the Equator. Further north in the Atlantic south of Greenland and Iceland rather than directly off the Coast of North America, the North Atlantic is cooler than normal which is consistent with AMO+ and has implications for the NAO i.e. parts of Europe. The warm water off of West Africa is no longer there but is further south. The waters north of Antarctica are uniformly colder than climatology. Again, I have additional commentary on this below where I examine the four week change in these anomalies.

Below I show the changes over the last month in the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies.

May 9, 2016 Change in Weekly SST Departures

Since these are "departures" or "anomalies", it is not a seasonal pattern that is being shown. Comparing a four-week graphic to a prior four-week graphic is always tricky since only 25% of the data has changed and I am not showing the former graphic (it is in last week's report). I add the new one, compare and comment on the change and then delete the old one to keep this report to a manageable size. What I see as I look at both (before deleting the prior version) is that again like last week the anomalies are less intense.  It no longer seems to be getting warmer off the West Coast of North America and now it now appears to have stopped getting cooler off the East Coast. Also there is is a less of a change taking place in the Indian Ocean. The waters off of Southeast Asia may be getting warmer but if anything the intensity of that process has declined. What we see in this graphic is four weeks of change not the current absolute anomalies which are one graphic further up. It is not derivatives in the mathematical sense but deltas. They are somewhat similar. The graphic two above has no time component it is simply the deviation from climatology and this graphic shows the four week change in the deviation from climatology. So it is a bit like the first and second derivatives but not exactly. 

 6 -  14 Day Outlook Plus the 3 - 4 Week Experimental Forcast.

Now let us focus on the 6 - 14 Day Forecast for which I generally only show the 8 - 14 Day Maps. The 6 - 10 Day maps are always available in Part II of this report but in the Winter and Spring I often show both maps as the forecasted weather patterns change during that nine day period.

To put the forecasts which NOAA tends to call Outlooks into perspective, I am going to show the three-month MJJ Outlook and the recently updated Outlook for the single month of May and then discuss the 6 - 10 Day and the 8 - 14 Day Maps and the 6 - 14 Day NOAA Discussion within that framework.

First - Temperature

Here is the Three-Month MJJ Temperature Outlook issued on April 21, 2016:

MJJ Temperature Outlook Issue on April 21, 2016

Here is the Updated Outlook for May Temperatures issued on April 30, 2016.

May 2016 Updated Temperature Outlook Issued on April 30, 2016

Below are the current 6 - 10 Day and 8 - 14 Day Temperature Outlook Maps which will auto-update daily and thus be current when you view them. It covers the nine days following the tail end of the current week. I have included both today and probably will continue to do that as long as the patterns are moving from west to east fairly rapidly. I have also included the experimental Week 3 and 4 Outlook. The Week 3-4 Experimental Outlook updates weekly on Friday. Notice the Week 3-4 Experimental Outlook has fewer levels of probability starting with 50%.

As I view these maps on May 9, it appears that the main feature for Mid-May will be the continued zonal progression of the anomalies across the Northern Tier and a weakening of the cool anomaly centered over New Mexico. There does not seem to be much consistency with the monthly outlook for May issued at the end of April. In particular the Northern Tier is not forecast to be unseasonably warm. 

 6 - 10 Day Temperature Outlook

6 - 10 Day Temperature Outlook

8 - 14 Day Temperature Outlook  

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

Looking further out.

Experimental Week 3-4 Temperature Outlook

Last week I said that "It will be interesting to see if that cool anomaly in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas does indeed develop and develop where it is now forecasted to be. The warm swath across the Northern Tier which is now (and remember this is a forecast for a week later than the prior forecast) projected to cover more area especially in the East is also a feature to watch."
Now looking at how the new set of forecasts compares to the forecast last week, the cool anomaly has now moved into the 8 -14 Day Outlook but the warm swath across the Northern Tier is not in the more immediate forecast. The 8- 4 Day Outlook at this point is not inconsistent with the updated 3-4 week forecast which was issued just this past Friday. Neither the 6 - 10 Day, 8 - 14 Day or the Week 3 -4 forecasts are consistent with the full month of May Outlook issued a week ago Saturday and this mismatch between the mid-term forecasts and the shorter-term forecasts is a continuing pattern.

Now - Precipitation 

Here is the three-month MJJ Precipitation Outlook issued on April 21, 2016:

MJJ Precipitation Outlook Issue on March 17, 2016

Updated Precipitation Outlook for May Issued on April 30, 2016

May 2016 Updated Precipitation Outlook Issued on April 30, 2016

Below are the current 6 - 10 Day and 8 - 14 Day Precipitation Outlook Maps which will auto-update and thus be current when you view them. It covers the nine days following the tail end of the current week. I have included both today and probably will continue to do that as long as the patterns are moving from west to east fairly rapidly. I have also included the experimental Week 3 and 4 Outlook. The Week 3-4 Experimental Outlook updates weekly on Fridays. Notice the Week 3-4 Experimental Outlook has fewer levels of probability starting with 50%.

As I view these maps on May 9 (they update each day), it looks like precipitation for Mid-May will be generally widespread wet conditions but northerly displaced in the West.

6 - 10 Day Precipitation Outlook

6 - 10 Day Precipitation Outlook

8 - 14 Day Precipitation Outlook 

Current 8 - 14 Day Precipitation Outlook

Weeks 3 and 4 Experimental Forecast.

Last week I said that "It will be interesting to see if this week three and four experimental Outlook works out. I note that the higher probabilities for the wet anomaly are over Utah suggesting that the storm track is still somewhat northerly displaced but not as much as earlier this year."
Now looking at how the new set of forecasts compares to the forecast last week, indeed the higher probability for an area of precipitation shown in last week's 3-4 Week Forecast has now shown up in the 8 - 14 Day Outlook but a bit further north than forecast in the 3 - 4 Experimental Outlook. This Week's 3-4 Forecast issued last Friday is not inconsistent with the 8 - 14 Day Outlook issued today. Neither the 6 - 10 Day, 8 - 14 Day or the 3-4 Week outlook are consistent with the updated May Outlook Issued a  week ago Saturday. This has been the pattern this year with the shorter-term forecasts not being consistent with the longer-term forecasts but in a systematic way i.e. the longer-term forecasts are based on a typical strong El Nino. The shorter-term forecasts are based on dynamic models which place the storm track further north and the actuals come in even further north than the shorter-term forecasts. 

Here are excerpts from the NOAA discussion released today May 9, 2016.

6-10 DAY OUTLOOK FOR MAY 15 - 19 2016

TODAY'S MODEL SOLUTIONS ARE IN FAIR AGREEMENT ON THE OVERALL 500-HPA FLOW PATTERN OVER THE FORECAST DOMAIN. AN ANOMALOUSLY STRONG TROUGH IS PREDICTED NEAR THE GREAT LAKES LEADING TO FORECAST BELOW NORMAL HEIGHTS FOR MUCH OF THE NORTH-CENTRAL AND NORTHEASTERN CONUS. RIDGING IS PREDICTED UPSTREAM OF THIS TROUGH OVER WESTERN CANADA AND PARTS OF THE NORTHWESTERN CONUS WHILE ABOVE NORMAL HEIGHTS ARE FORECAST FOR ALASKA. FARTHER TO THE SOUTH, A WEAK TROUGH IS PREDICTED OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN CONUS WHILE MOSTLY ZONAL FLOW IS FORECAST ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN CONUS. ENSEMBLE SPREAD IS HIGH TODAY OVER MUCH OF NORTHERN NORTH AMERICA (PARTICULARLY FOR ALASKA AND EASTERN CANADA) INDICATING LARGE UNCERTAINTIES AMONG INDIVIDUAL ENSEMBLE MEMBERS FOR THESE REGIONS. DUE, IN PART, TO THESE UNCERTAINTIES, TODAY'S OFFICIAL MANUAL HEIGHT BLEND IS COMPOSED PRIMARILY OF THE ENSEMBLE MEAN SOLUTIONS.

THE STRONG TROUGH PREDICTED NEAR THE GREAT LAKES LEADS TO ENHANCED  PROBABILITIES FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR MUCH OF THE NORTH-CENTRAL AND NORTHEASTERN CONUS. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FOR PARTS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN AND SOUTH-CENTRAL CONUS TO THE SOUTH OF A PREDICTED MEAN FRONTAL BOUNDARY. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO FAVORED FOR MOST OF ALASKA AND  PARTS OF THE NORTHWESTERN CONUS UNDERNEATH PREDICTED ABOVE NORMAL HEIGHTS.

ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED FOR MUCH OF THE SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHEASTERN CONUS IN ASSOCIATION WITH A PREDICTED MEAN FRONTAL BOUNDARY. CONVERSELY, THERE ARE ENHANCED PROBABILITIES OF BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FROM THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES TO THE NORTHERN PLAINS DUE TO SUBSIDENCE BEHIND THE TROUGH FORECAST NEAR THE GREAT LAKES. ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED AHEAD OF THE TROUGH AXIS FOR PARTS OF THE NORTHEASTERN CONUS. PRECIPITATION ESTIMATES FROM THE GFS AND ECMWF ENSEMBLE MEMBERS ALSO SUPPORT ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR MUCH OF THE NORTHWESTERN CONUS. CONVERSELY, BELOW MEDIAN  PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED FOR MUCH OF ALASKA UNDERNEATH PREDICTED ABOVE NORMAL HEIGHTS. 

FORECAST CONFIDENCE FOR THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD: AVERAGE, 3 OUT OF 5, DUE TO FAIRLY GOOD AGREEMENT AMONG THE ENSEMBLE MEAN SOLUTIONS OFFSET BY HIGH MODEL SPREAD AMONG THE COMPONENT ENSEMBLE MEMBERS OVER MUCH OF NORTHERN NORTH AMERICA.

8-14 DAY OUTLOOK FOR MAY 17 - 23 2016 

TODAY'S ENSEMBLE MEAN SOLUTIONS AGREE IN FORECASTING A MEAN 500-HPA TROUGH NEAR THE WEST COAST OF THE CONUS AND MOSTLY ZONAL FLOW FOR MUCH OF THE EASTERN CONUS. ENSEMBLE SPREAD AND UNCERTAINTY ARE HIGH FOR ALASKA. THE GFS AND CANADIAN ENSEMBLE MEANS FORECAST A TROUGH NEAR THE ALEUTIANS AND A RIDGE OVER MUCH OF THE REMAINDER OF ALASKA. HOWEVER, THE ECMWF ENSEMBLE MEAN IS OUT OF PHASE AND FORECASTS A MEAN TROUGH OVER CENTRAL ALASKA. THE OFFICIAL WEEK TWO MANUAL HEIGHT BLEND REPRESENTS A COMPROMISE OF THE ENSEMBLE MEAN SOLUTIONS AND DEPICTS NEAR TO BELOW NORMAL HEIGHTS FOR THE NORTHEASTERN AND WESTERN CONUS AND NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL HEIGHTS FOR THE SOUTHEASTERN CONUS AND ALASKA.

THERE ARE ENHANCED PROBABILITIES OF BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR MUCH OF THE GREAT BASIN AND SOUTHWEST CONUS IN ASSOCIATION WITH A PREDICTED MEAN TROUGH AND NEGATIVE HEIGHT ANOMALIES. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FOR MUCH OF THE SOUTH-CENTRAL CONUS DUE TO ANTICIPATED MEAN SOUTHERLY LOW LEVEL FLOW. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO FAVORED FOR THE SOUTHEASTERN CONUS DUE TO PREDICTED ABOVE NORMAL HEIGHTS. ENHANCED PROBABILITIES FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE INDICATED FOR MUCH OF THE NORTHEASTERN CONUS CONSISTENT WITH GEFS REFORECAST GUIDANCE AND WITH BIAS CORRECTED TEMPERATURES FROM THE 0Z ECMWF ENSEMBLE MEAN. CONVERSELY, ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FOR MUCH OF ALASKA UNDERNEATH PREDICTED ABOVE NORMAL HEIGHTS.

THE TROUGH FORECAST NEAR THE WEST COAST LEADS TO ENHANCED PROBABILITIES FOR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR MUCH OF THE NORTHWESTERN CONUS. ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS ALSO FAVORED FOR MUCH OF THE SOUTHERN PLAINS AND LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY UNDERNEATH ANTICIPATED MEAN SOUTHERLY LOW LEVEL FLOW. PRECIPITATION ESTIMATES FROM THE GFS AND ECMWF ENSEMBLE MEMBERS ALSO SUPPORT ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR MUCH OF THE SOUTHEASTERN CONUS. CONVERSELY, THERE ARE ENHANCED PROBABILITIES FOR BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR MUCH OF ALASKA UNDERNEATH PREDICTED ABOVE NORMAL HEIGHTS.  

FORECAST CONFIDENCE FOR THE 8-14 DAY PERIOD IS: BELOW AVERAGE, 2 OUT OF 5, DUE TO ONLY FAR AGREEMENT AMONG THE ENSEMBLE MEAN 500-HPA SOLUTIONS COMBINED WITH POOR AGREEMENT AGREEMENT AMONG THE TEMPERATURE TOOLS.

THE NEXT SET OF LONG-LEAD MONTHLY AND SEASONAL OUTLOOKS WILL BE RELEASED ON MAY 19

Some might find this analysis interesting as the organization which prepares it looks at things from a very detailed perspective and their analysis provides a lot of information on the history and evolution of this El Nino.

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. The first set which is what I am using today applies to the 5 and 7 day observed pattern prior to today. The second set, which I am not using, relates to the correlation of the forecasted outlook 6 - 10 days out with similar patterns that have occurred in the past during the dates covered by the 6 - 10 Day Outlook. The second set of analogs may also be useful information but they put the first set of analogs in the discussion with the second set available by a link so I am assuming that the first set of analogs is the most meaningful and I find it so.

Centered

Day

ENSO

Phase

PDO AMO

Other Comments

May 15, 1952 Neutral - +  
May 16, 1952 Neutral - +  
Apr 25, 1971 La Nina - -  
May 4, 1971 La Nina - -  
May 19, 1985 La Nina + -  
May 4, 1990 Neutral + -  
May 6, 1992 El Nino - - El Nino Modoki Type II
Apr 25, 1998 El Nino + + Tail End of Most Powerful Modern El Nino
May 23, 2008 La Nina - +  

 

One thing that jumped out at me right away was the spread among the analogs from Apr 25 to May 19 which is just a little more than three weeks. It suggests that the prior week conditions are highly correlated with weather patterns which in the past occurred over a fairly narrow range of dates as shown. There are this time two El Nino Analogs, three ENSO Neutral Analogs and four La Nina Analogs suggesting indecision or that we are now beyond the point where the Phase of ENSO is very important.

The phases of the ocean cycles in the analogs are inconclusive but slightly favor PDO Negative. This is somewhat negative for next winter if it is indicating the PDO will return to its Negative formation but it is a single data point. The seminal work on the impact of the PDO and AMO on U.S. climate can be found here. Water Planners might usefully pay attention to the low-frequency cycles such as the AMO and the PDO as the media tends to focus on the current and short-term forecasts to the exclusion of what we can reasonably anticipate over multi-decadal periods of time.

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.

With respect to relating analog dates to ENSO Events, the following table might be useful. In most cases this table will allow the reader to draw appropriate conclusions from NOAA supplied analogs. If the analogs are not associated with an El Nino or La Nina they probably are not as easily interpreted. Remember, an analog is indicating a similarity to a weather pattern in the past. So if the analogs are not associated with a prior El Nino or prior La Nina the computer models are not likely to generate a forecast that is consistent with an El Nino or a La Nina.

  El Ninos La Ninas
  Start Finish Max ONI PDO AMO Start Finish Max ONI PDO AMO
            DJF 1950 J FM 1951 -1.4 - N
T   JJA 1951  DJF 1952 0.9 - +          
   DJF 1953  DJF 1954 0.8 - + AMJ 1954  AMJ 1956 -1.6 - +
M MAM 1957   JJA 1958 1.7 + -          
M SON 1958  JFM 1959 0.6 + -          
M   JJA 1963  JFM 1964 1.2 - - AMJ 1964  DJF 1965 -0.8 - -
M  MJJ 1965 MAM 1966 1.8 - - NDJ 1967 MAM 1968 -0.8 - -
M OND 1968   MJJ 1969 1.0 - -          
T  JAS 1969   DJF 1970 0.8 N -  JJA 1970  DJF 1972 -1.3 - -
T AMJ 1972  FMA 1973 2.0 - - MJJ 1973 JJA 1974 -1.9 - -
            SON 1974 FMA 1976 -1.6 - -
T ASO 1976  JFM 1977 0.8 + -          
M ASO 1977

 DJF  1978

0.8 N -          
M SON 1979  JFM 1980 0.6 + -          
T MAM 1982  MJJ  1983 2.1 + - SON 1984 MJJ 1985 -1.1 + -
M ASO 1986  JFM 1988 1.6 + - AMJ 1988 AMJ 1989 -1.8 - -
M MJJ 1991    JJA 1992 1.6 + -          
M SON 1994   FMA 1995 1.0 - - JAS 1995 FMA 1996 -1.0 + +
T AMJ 1997   AMJ 1998 2.3 + + JJA 1998 FMA 2001 -1.6 - +
M MJJ 2002   JFM 2003 1.3 + N          
M  JJA 2004 MAM 2005 0.7 + +          
T ASO 2006   DJF 2007 1.0 - + JAS 2007  MJJ 2008 -1.4 - +
M JJA 2009 MAM 2010 1.3 N + JJA 2010 MAM 2011 -1.4 + +
            JAS 2011 FMA 2012 -0.9 - +
T MAM 2015 NA 1.0 + N          

 

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 moving/running average and the third is the 90 day moving/running average.

Date Current Reading 30-Day Average 90 Day Average
May 3 -2.5 -18.64 -14.99
May 4 -0.1 -18.02 -14.99
May 5 +7.6 -17.34 -14.88
May 6 +10.3 -16.72 -14.75
May 7 +24.0 -15.31 -14.52
May 8 +18.2 -14.04 -14.25
May 9 +18.8 -12.98 -13.96

 

The 30-day average, which is the most widely used measure, as of May 9 is reported at -12.98 which is again clearly associated with an El Nino (usually required to be more negative than -8.0 but some consider -6.0 value good enough). It is quite a bit weaker (less negative) this week due to what might be the reversal of the SOI or it might still be changes in local conditions in Tahiti and Darwin Australia where the readings for this index originate. if there were two more weeks of such readings, the SOI would move into ENSO Neutral Territory. The 90-day average remains in El Nino territory at -13.96.  Usually but not always the 90 day average changes more slowly than the 30 day average but it depends on what values drop out. The SOI continues to be indicative of an El Nino Event in progress but it is pretty much passed the time of year where it is very meaningful re El Nino development.  I believe we will see a moderating trend in the SOI from here on with the possible exception of the continued local stormy conditions in Tahiti which for now have ended. But storms come and go so it may take longer than two weeks for the SOI to go NEUTRAL. It kind of looks like this is not very likely so it does seem the SOI is about to signal the end of this EL Nino just as the ONI is about to do the same.

The MJO or Madden Julian Oscillation is an important factor in regulating the SOI and Kelvin Waves and other tropical weather characteristics. More information on the MJO can be found here. Here is another good resource.

Low-Level Wind Anomalies

Here are the low-level wind anomalies. We see light westerly anomalies which are probably MJO related.  

Low Level Wlind Anomalies

And now the Outgoing Longwave Anomalies which tells us where convection has been taking place.

OLR Anomalies Along the Equator

In the above graphic, the convection zone east of the Dateline has narrowed. The non-convection zone to the west of the Dateline appears to be vanishing. Overall, it is far less a coherent pattern at this point.

Kelvin Waves

Let us now take a look at the progress of Kelvin Waves which are the key to the situation.  From the earliest to the most recent they can be named #1 through #5.  Kelvin Wave #1 has now been pushed off the top of this graphic as more recent information is added at the bottom.

Kelvin Waves Auto-updates

We now see the major Upwelling Phase which is the Coup de Grace for this El Nino.

One should keep in mind that for a new Kelvin Wave, the period of time from initiation to the termination of impacts is about six months. So when you have four or five this winter six in a row, the pattern of impacts on different indices and geographic areas becomes quite complex. It is further complicated as you can see above because the Kelvin Waves do not necessarily originate at the same location i.e. longitude.

We are now going to change the way we look at a three dimensional view of the Equator and move from the surface view to the view from the surface down. This El Nino appears to be fading slowly from west to east. The real decline will be from east to west.

Current Sub-Surface Conditions.  Notice the lag in getting this information posted so the current situation may be a bit different than shown.

And now the pair of graphics that I regularly provide and which as I publish are currently able to be accessed from the NOAA website:

Subsurface Heat Anomalies

The above pair of graphics showing the current situation has an upper and lower graphic.  The bottom graphic shows the absolute values, the upper graphic shows anomalies compared to what one might expect at this time of the year in the various areas both 130E to 90W Longitude and from the surface down to 450 meters.

The top graphic shows surface temperature anomalies. The 2C, 3C, 4C, 5C and 6C anomalies are gone. the 0.5 C now extends from 140W to 170E. There are just a couple of small and shallow occurrences of the 1C anomaly. From the West, cool water has now made it all the way to the Coast of Ecuador and in some places the anomaly exceeds negative 4C. Along the Coast of South America the cool water at depth is still down at 200 meters. But there is hardly any warm anomaly between the cool anomaly rising from depth and the cool anomaly that is the upwelling phase of the last Kelvin Wave.

The bottom half of the graphic (Absolute Values which highlights the Thermocline) perhaps is a now equally useful in terms of tracking the progress of this Warm Event as it converts to ENSO Neutral and then La Nina.

It shows the thermocline between warm and cool water. The 25C Isotherm is now reaching the surface. There is a lot of compression of the Isotherms so from 120W on east, the 20C is close to the surface and will reach the surface soon. We now pay close attention to the 28C Isotherm as west of that temperature is where convection is more easy to occur. The 28C Isotherm remains at about 140W or perhaps has shifted a bit further to the west. Thus we may remain in what is more like an El Nino Modoki situation for longer than most models predict. But the transition to ENSO Neutral is taking place pretty rapidly. This graphic does not show a 27.5C anomaly which might more precisely indicate where convection is likely to occur.

Here are the above graphics as a time sequence animation. You may have to click on them to get the animation going.

Equatorial Temperature Simulation

Isotherm Simulation

TAO/TRITON GRAPHIC

This discussion is longer than necessary to describe current conditions but I am retaining the snap shots of the earlier TAO/TRITON graphics to allow the reader to understand how this El Nino evolved and how it is now decaying.

Let us compare the situation as reported on October 4 to the most recent graphic. Remember each graphic has two parts the top part is the average values, the bottom part is those values expressed as an anomaly compared to the expected values for that date. Generally I am mainly discussing the bottom of the pairs of graphics namely the anomalies

First the October 4 version which I am providing for purposes of comparison. I "flash froze" the daily value that day so that it would not auto-update.

Oct 4, 2015 TAO/TRITON

And then the December 14 version which I also "flash froze" to stop it from updating.

December 14, 2015 Frozen TAO/TRITON GRAPHIC

And then the current version of the TAO/TRITON Graphic.

Current SST and wind anomalies

Location Bar for Nino 3.4 Area Above and Below
------------------------------------------------  A      B      C      D      E      -----------------

 

We now see a cool anomaly jutting out from Ecuador and sub 0.5C anomalies now extend almost to 140W. More importantly, the 1C anomaly is not present directly on the Equator. This illustrates how only the warm area south of the Equator keeps the pattern as recording as an El Nino. 

The 3.5C anomaly is no longer visible. Neither is the 3.0C anomaly or the 2.5C anomaly or the 2C anomaly. The 1.5C anomaly only exists in the Nino 3.4 Measurement Area south of the Equator and may soon be too far south to be counted. So the maximum anomalies (which do not appear everywhere) have declined by a full two and one half degrees Centigrade almost everywhere. This means that if one is attempting to mentally estimate the daily ONI, an approach would be to make an initial estimate of the midpoint of the 1C to 1.5C anomaly or 1.25C and subtract the reductions from there where the anomaly is less and add back in the area south of the Equator. What I have just described is not exactly the approach I use in my calculation below but it does provide a quick way to get a feel for the current strength of this El Nino. There is actually shading in the TAO/TRITON Graphic that might allow one to try to refine estimates a bit more than the contour lines but I rely on the contour lines. This El Nino is almost gone. 

And an earlier but recent reference point close to the peak of this El Nino re the bottom half of the TAO/TRITON Graphic. You can certainly see the difference that three months makes.

January 19, 2016 Frozen TAU/TRITON Graphic

The below table tracks the changes. It only addresses the situation right on the Equator so visually the TAO/TRITON graphic contains more information. But the below table turns visual information into quantitative information so it may be useful. The degrees of coverage shown in the rightmost two columns shows that the extent of the warm water directly on the Equator has been reduced in recent weeks. The way I constructed the table, the 1.0C anomaly as an example includes all water warmer than 1.0C so the 1.5C anomaly is included within it as well as the 2.0C anomaly which you can tell by the way I recorded the westward and eastward coordinates. I could have constructed this table in a different way. Note the 3C anomaly no longer exists. The 2.5C anomaly also no longer exists. As this El Nino decays I am including the less warm anomalies in the table below.

Comparing Now to January 19, 2016

Subareas of the 

Anomaly

Westward Extension Eastward Extension Degrees of Coverage
Today January 19, 2016 Today   January 19, 2026 Today In Nino 3.4 January 19, 2016
These Rows Show the Extent of El Nino Impacts on the Equator
3C or higher Anomaly Gone 158W Gone   134W 0 0 24
2.5C or higher Anomaly Gone 165W Land   110W 0 0 55
2.0C or higher Anomaly Gone 170W Gone   100W 0 0 70
1.5C or higher Anomaly Gone 175W Gone   Land 0 0 80
1.0C or higher Anomaly Gone 175E Gone   Land 0 0 90
0.5C or higher Anomaly Inf 160E 138W   Land Inf 32 105
These Rows Show the Extent of ENSO Neutral Impacts on the Equator
0.5C or less Anomaly 138W Land Land   Land 43 18 0
0.0C or less Anomaly 130W Land Land   Land 35 10 0
These Rows Show the Extent of the La Nina Impacts on the Equator
-0.5C or less Anomaly 120W Land Land   Land 25 0 0
-1C or less Anomaly 108W Land Land   Land 13 0 0

 

The above table which only looks at the Equator shows that there is very little left of the warm anomaly. I have now split the table to show warm, neutral, and cool anomalies. The top  rows show El Nino anomalies. The three Rows just below the break is a Neutral been adding less warm anomalies to the bottom of the table and soon will be removing the warm anomalies from the top of this table since they will no longer be a factor as we go to ENSO Neutral or ENSO La Nina.

I calculate the ONI each week using a method that I have devised. To refine my calculation, I have divided the 170W to 120W ONI measuring area into five subregions (which I have designated from west to east as A through E) with a location bar shown under the TAO/TRITON Graphic). I use a rough estimation approach to integrate what I see below and record that in the table I have constructed. Then I take the average of the anomalies I estimated for each of the five subregions. So as of Monday May 9, in the afternoon working from the May 8 TAO/TRITON report, this is what I calculated.

Calculation of ONI from TAO/TRITON Graphic
Anomaly Segment Estimated Anomaly
  Last Week This Week
A. 170W to 160W 1.2 0.9
B. 160W to 150W 1.5 1.1
C. 150W to 140W 1.1 1.2
D. 140W to 130W 0.8 1.0
E. 130W to 120W 0.1 0.4
Total 4.7 4.6
Total divided by five subregions i.e. the ONI (4.7/5 = 0.9 (4.6)/5 = 0.9

 

My estimate of the daily Nino 3.4 ONI after rounding remains this week at 0.9. NOAA has again reported the weekly ONI to be 0.8 which is the level of a weak El Nino but surprisingly not less than last week.  The exact extent of the 1.5C+ anomaly south of the Equator has a big impact on the calculations. Nino 4.0 is being reported a bit lower at 0.8  raising questions about if and how fast the Warm Pool is migrating to the West as it dissipates.  Nino 3.0 is being reported again at 0.4C . The action which I think is most important to track right now is in Nino 1+2. It have been a roller coaster up and down and now leveled off for the moment at+0.4C. The ONI is not measured in that area but it is significant. For the Coast of South America, the El Nino is over but we are not yet in a La Nina condition although the water directly off of Ecuador is now quite cold as can be seen in the TAO/TRITON graphic. I am only showing the currently issued version of the NINO SST Index Table as the prior values are shown in the small graphics on the right with this graphic.

May 9, 2016 Nino Readings

ONI Recent History

The official reading for Feb/Mar/Apr is now reported as 1.6. I have discussed before the mystery of how the Nino 3.4 (ONI) CFSv2 values above get translated into the ERSST.v4 values shown below and if NOAA feels that working with two sets of books is a good way to operate, who am I argue. Many businesses do the same thing. As you can see this El Nino peaked in NDJ and is now declining and depending on what system you use it is either the 2nd or 3rd strongest El Nino since modern records were kept which is considered to be 1950. You could argue for it being #1 based on a week of readings but few are buying that argument. Still #2 or #3 means it is one of the strongest ever based on the way these events are measured. I will be writing more about that soon in a separate article. I believe the measurement system is inadequate re being useful in forecasting Worldwide weather impacts.

May 9, 2016 Recent ONI History

The full history of the ONI readings can be found here.   The MEI index readings can be found here.

Is this El Nino a Modoki?

It did not evolve as a Modoki unless you consider it to be a continuation of the Faux El Nino Modoki of 2014/2015 which is a possible interpretation. But the Walker Circulation appears to be much like that of a Modoki. These graphics help explain this.

Although I discussed the Kelvin Waves earlier, now seems to be the best place to show the evolution of the subsurface temperatures.

May 9, 2016 Kelvin Wave History

Until recently watching this El Nino evolve has been like watching paint dry. But that was very different last week. This week it is difficult to see much change. The undercutting cool anomaly has totally replaced the warm pool off the coast of Ecuador.  What remains is a weak El Nino that resembles a Modoki but may or not be a Modoki as discussed in elsewhere in this article.  You can also see that there is not much left of the warm pool. It is not really moving back to the Western Pacific as one would expect. It is just disappearing. That may turn out to be very significant.  IT MAY TAKE A LONG TIME FOR THE NEXT EL NINO TO BE GENERATED.

SST Surface Anomaly Hovmoeller

Here is another way of looking at it: Unlike the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Hovmoeller (I call it the Kelvin Wave Hovmoeller) which takes an average down to 300 meters, this just measures the surface temperature anomaly. It is the surface that interacts with the atmosphere and causes convection and also the warming and cooling of the atmosphere. A major advantage of the Hovmoeller method of displaying information is that it shows the history so I do not need to show a sequence of snap shots of the conditions at different points in time. Nevertheless this Hovmoeller provides a good way to visually see the evolution of this El Nino and later track its demise. 

SST Anomalies Hovmoeller

One can easily see the historical evolution of this El Nino. You can easily see how the intensity peaked in November 2015, declined in December and then declined substantially in late February and continues to decline. At the very bottom of this graphic, which shows the most recent readings, you can see the easing of the extreme temperature anomalies in the Nino 3.4 Measurement area (see the scale on the right: red is less warm than dark red) namely 170W to 120W. That explains the reduction in NOAA ONI estimates. That is likely to continue to be the trend. You can see the steady decay in the anomalies from the east between 80W and beyond the Dateline but a persistence of the warm anomaly from about 150W to just beyond the Dateline. So the Warm Pool has left the Eastern Pacific but has not made much progress returning to Indonesia. We are now starting to see a cool (shades of blue) anomaly developing off the coast of Ecuador. You can also see some blue at about 110W. There are other graphics which show it better but I prefer this one because it auto-updates.

Recent Impacts of Weather Mostly El Nino but possibly Also PDO and AMO Impacts.

Below are snapshots of 30 Day temperature and precipitation departures over the life of this El Nino. The end date of the 30 day period is shown in the graphic.  It is a way of seeing how the impacts of this El Nino have unfolded.

June 15, 2015 30 Day Temperature and Precipitation Departures.

July 13, 2015 30 Day Temperature and Preciptiation Departures

August 10 2015 30 Day Temperature and Precipitation Departures

Sept 5, 2015 30 Day Temperature and Precipitation Departures

Oct 3, 2015 30 day Temperature and Precipitation Departures

30 day Temperature and Precipitation Departures

November 30, 2015 30 day temperature and precipitation departures.

January 4, 2016 30 Day Temperature and Precipitation Departures

February 1, 2016 30 Day Temperature and Weather Departures.

Feb  29, 2016 temperature and Precipitation Departures.

March 7, 2016 30 Day Temperature and Precipitation Departures

April  2016 20 day temperature and precipitation departures.

Remember this is a 30 day average and last week I used a different graphic so this can not be compared to last week but is best compared with last month. The La Nina pattern persists for much of the West with respect to both precipitation and temperature but is a normal El Nino for the Mississippi Valley in March. Northern California was wet but it is hard to say if that looks like El Nino or La Nina. This is one strange El Nino and for the 2nd or 3rd strongest in modern history it is a mystery that has not been given adequate attention. 

Lets take a look at the combined results for the first three months of 2016: January, February and March.

April 4, 2016 90 Day Temperature and Precipitation Departures.

Well that does not look like an El Nino pattern to me but more like a La Nina pattern for precipitation and just plain warm pretty much everywhere which is neither an El Nino nor a La Nina Pattern.

And here is the April (30 day) graphic.

May 2, 2016 30 Day Temperature and Weather Departures

We have seen a gradual change in April to a more typical El Nino pattern. The Northwest is dry and the Southwest is a bit wetter than normal. One area along the Southern California western Arizona border had very good  El Nino precipitation. The lee side of the Rockies for some reason were wet all the way to Canada and probably into Canada but not shown in this graphic. It certainly has remained dry in Mexico. The Temperature Pattern has been very close to a typical El Nino pattern in April.

I realize this is a lot of graphics but one needs to look at the history of an event to assess it. As you can see, so far we are not having the expected El Nino Impacts in CONUS.

Here is the ninety day picture for February, March, and April.

May 2, 2016, 90 Day Temperature and Precipitation Departures.

The precipitation pattern still looks more like a La Nina than an El Nino. It has been warmer than climatology everywhere.

And here is the latest graphic which adds a week and remove the seven earliest days so it is a 30 day analysis through May 7, 2016

May 9, 2016 30 Day Temperature and Precipitation Departures.

It looks a lot more like a traditional El Nino pattern the last 30 days. You see that in both the precipitation and temperature.

View from Australia

El Nino

Australia POAMA ENSO model run

Below is the discussion just released. Notice the discussion re forecasting a La Nina for next winter.

El Niño drawing closer to an end

The tropical Pacific Ocean has weakened to borderline El Niño-neutral levels. Sea surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific Ocean cooled further in the past fortnight, driven by cooler than average waters below the surface. Atmospheric indicators are also trending towards normal. Trade winds have been consistently near normal for some weeks. Typical El Niño cloud patterns are dissipating and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), while still negative, is steadily rising.

All international models suggest the tropical Pacific Ocean will continue to cool, with seven of eight models exceeding La Niña thresholds by September 2016. However, individual model outlooks show a large spread between neutral and La Niña scenarios.

Based on recent changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean and atmosphere, combined with current climate model outlooks, the Bureau's ENSO Outlook remains at La Niña WATCH. This means the likelihood of La Niña forming later in 2016 is around 50%.

Typically during La Niña, winter-spring rainfall is above average over northern, central and eastern Australia.

Very warm sea surface temperatures continue across large parts of the Indian Ocean. Likewise, ocean temperatures around Australia remain well above average. Warmth in these two regions may provide extra moisture for rain systems as they cross Australia during the coming months.

IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole)

IOD POAMA Model Run

The graphic comes with only a very short discussion and here is that discussion:

Indian Ocean Dipole outlooks

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral. The weekly Dipole Mode Index value to 8 May is -0.01 °C.

Currently all international models monitored by the Bureau indicate negative IOD conditions are possible by July. However, model skill is generally lower at this time of year, and outlooks should be used with caution. Negative IOD events are more likely to occur during La Nina.

Information on the impact of a negative IOD on Australia can be found here.

El Nino in the News

The Fort McMurray Disaster

2016 Weather Disasters (to date)

The Hot and Wet in India article might fit in this category. It is hard to separate out Global Warming from normal climate cycles unless you are a  Climate Change Alarmist in which case it is all very clear to you or a CC Denier in which case it also is totally clear to you. Since I do not fit in either category I am left with the very difficult task of trying to sort it out. It is a bit like trying to sort out every medical condition from aging. We know that aging increases the odds of adverse medical conditions. But not all adverse medical conditions are attributable to age. This can become a problem what a doctor tells you are too young to have the symptoms you report or alternatively one dismisses certain symptoms as being simply age catching up with you when there is something not age related or only marginally age related going on. It is better to look at the evidence than start with a predetermined answer.

Global Warming in the News

The first article in the El Nino News Section could also fall in this category.

Hot and Wet in India

Putting it all Together.

This El Nino has peaked in intensity and is now in rapid decline. We are beginning to speculate on the winter of 2016/2017 which now according to most of the models seems increasingly likely to be a La Nina.

The below is the CPC/IRI forecast issued on April 21, 2016. It is important to remember that the first report in each month is based on a survey of meteorologists and the second report later in the month is based on the analysis of the forecast models. It is a minor difference but a difference. The first report in May should be available soon.

April 25, IRI CP ENSO Forecast

The new forecast shows increased confidence that next winter will be a La Nina winter. In fact the forecast is for El Nino to be over (switching to ENSO Neutral) by the May - Jun - Jul three month period which means Jun. So one does not have much confidence that May will be much impacted by El Nino although El Nino impacts lag the demise of the El Nino.

We have suggested that it is possible that some of the models and in particular NOAA's model will be wrong about how fast the Eastern Pacific Warm Pool moves back towards its La Nina location and it may well be that next winter will be more of a Neutral year or even have some characteristics of an El Nino Modoki and thus be wetter than a typical year as the Warm Pool may still be more in the Central Pacific than shifted all the way west to its La Nina position.

We have reason to believe that the models may not be taking into account all factors such as the Equatorial ocean currents and that this El Nino may not transition to a La Nina quite as rapidly as some of the models, Such as the below NOAA model, are predicting.

 CFS.V2 SST Forecast

The mean of the NOAA model is now forecasting a fairly strong La Nina for next winter.

I wish I had the May 1 Run of the JAMSTEC Model but here is the April 1 run and earlier you saw the Australian POAMA model run.

JAMSTEC April 1, 2016 ONI Forecast

The JAMSTEC April 1 model run is definitely forecasting La Nina conditions for the heart of next winter but not very extreme and perhaps not with a duration that would have it qualify as an official La Nina.

Importance of the Strength of the La Nina

In many ways the ENSO Cycle has impacts like the PDO Cycle. So to some extent the intensity of a La Nina determines the impacts. That is why it is important to think about how intense this La Nina might be. Here is a graphic that shows the impacts of recent intense La Ninas on CONUS.

La Nina Impacts used in May 9, 2016 Report.

It is useful to look at the Phases of the PDO and AMO during these three months of each of these major La Ninas.

Phase of Pacific and Atlantic Cycles Dec to Feb
  PDO AMO
1988 - 1989 - -
1998 - 1999 - +
1999 - 2000 - -
2007 - 2008 - +
2010 - 2011 - +

 

Curiously or not so curiously all five of these extreme La Nina's occurred with the PDO in a Negative State. It seems like the PDO will be Positive this coming winter. So it is very likely that the impacts of a La Nina would be significantly less than what is shown here but with the same direction i.e. the dry areas would be dry but less so and the wet areas would be wet but less so.
The Monitoring of the PDO thus becomes critical re forecasting the Winter of 2016/2017

Forecasting Beyond Five Years.

So in terms of long-term forecasting, none of this is very difficult to figure out actually if you are looking at say a five-year or longer forecast. The research on Ocean Cycles is fairly conclusive and widely available to those who seek it out. I have provided a lot of information on this in prior weeks and all of that information is preserved in Part II of my report in the Section on Low Frequency Cycles 3. Low Frequency Cycles such as PDO, AMO, IOBD, EATS.  It includes decade by decade predictions through 2050. Predicting a particular year is far harder.

The odds of a climate shift for CONUS taking place has significantly increased. It may be in progress. It may require one more La Nina. But it appears that "McCabe Condition A" is coming soon. Right now we seem to have a blend of McCabe Conditions A and C which are opposites which may explain some of the forecasting difficult. The AMO is pretty much neutral at this point so it may need to become a bit more negative for the McCabe A pattern to become established.

TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PART II OF THIS REPORT  The links below may take you directly to the set of information that you have selected but in some Internet Browsers it may first take you to the top of Page II where there is a TABLE OF CONTENTS and take a few extra seconds to get you to the specific section selected. If you do not feel like waiting, you can click a second time within the TABLE OF CONTENTS to get to the specific part of the webpage that interests you. 

A. Worldwide Weather: Current and Three-Month Outlooks: 15 Month Outlooks  (Usefully bookmarked as it provides automatically updated current weather conditions and forecasts at all times. It does not replace local forecasts but does provide U.S. national and regional forecasts and, with less detail, international forecasts)

B. Factors Impacting the Outlook

1. Very High Frequency (short-term) Cycles PNA, AO,NAO (but the AO and NAO may also have a low frequency component.)

2. Medium Frequency Cycles such as ENSO and IOD

3. Low Frequency Cycles such as PDO, AMO, IOBD, EATS.

C. Computer Models and Methodologies

D. Reserved for a Future Topic  (Possibly Predictable Economic Impacts)

TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PART III OF THIS REPORT - GLOBAL WARMING WHICH SOME CALL CLIMATE CHANGE. The links below may take you directly to the set of information that you have selected but in some Internet Browsers it may first take you to the top of Page III where there is a TABLE OF CONTENTS and take a few extra seconds to get you to the specific section selected. If you do not feel like waiting, you can click a second time within the TABLE OF CONTENTS to get to the specific part of the webpage that interests you.

D1. Introduction

D2. Climate Impacts of Global Warming

D3. Economic Impacts of Global Warming

D4. Reports from Around the World on Impacts of Global Warming

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

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