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posted on 13 June 2016

June 13, 2016 Weather and Climate Report - Beware of 600dm

Written by Sig Silber

NOAA has now officially declared that ENSO Neutral Conditions are present and that their report this morning was their final El Nino Advisory and they have shifted to La Nina Watch. ENSO has responded by effectively declaring: "not so fast -I still feel westerly". But my report today focuses on the North American Monsoon. For short-term matters, NOAA Climate Change Scientists talk in terms of 400 ppm being bad. In the Southwest, Meteorologists pay a lot of attention to 500mb "Thickness" levels of 600dm. The two metrics may well be correlated. 600dm may translate into surface temperatures of 115F to 120F so that is pretty warm for this coming week in June. Many things can moderate the situation but 120F is definitely warm. Besides humans, such heat can be hard on animals and can lead to power failures and wildfires.

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.

Some may find this article on Northern Hemisphere Monsoons to be of interest.

Multidecadal to multicentury scale collapses of Northern Hemisphere monsoons over the past millennium Yemane Asmerom and Victor J. Polyak Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131; Jessica B. T. Rasmussen Leander Independent School District, Leander, TX 78646; Stephen J. Burns Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 and Matthew Lachniet Department of Geoscience, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154

The abstract is of interest.

Late Holocene climate in western North America was punctuated by periods of extended aridity called megadroughts. These droughts have been linked to cool eastern tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Here, we show both short-term and long-term climate variability over the last 1,500 y from annual band thickness and stable isotope speleothem data. Several megadroughts are evident,including a multicentury one, AD 1350 - 1650, herein referred to as Super Drought, which corresponds to the coldest period of the Little Ice Age. Synchronicity between southwestern North American, Chinese, and West African monsoon precipitation suggests the mega-droughts were hemispheric in scale. Northern Hemisphere monsoon strength over the last millennium is positively correlated with Northern Hemisphere temperature and North Atlantic SST. The mega-droughts are associated with cooler than average SST and Northern Hemisphere temperatures. Furthermore, the megadroughts, including the Super Drought, coincide with solar insolation minima, suggesting that solar forcing of sea surface and atmospheric temperatures may generate variations in the strength of Northern Hemisphere monsoons. Our findings seem to suggest stronger (wetter) Northern Hemisphere monsoons with increased warming.

This may be new information to some. Warmer is wetter, cooler is drier.

The methodology of this research is interesting. Stalagmite BC-11 was collected in 2004 from Bat Cave, a room in Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico. There was a second stalagmite labeled BC2 assessed also but since it had been broken off (circa 1923 AD and may have been compromised) was considered to be a bit less reliable and the thickness of the layers were calibrated to tree ring data. The thickness of the bands was used to estimate the annual precipitation which in that area is mostly Monsoonal. Apparently the research team were able to determine the source of the precipitation i.e. the Pacific (mostly winter) versus Gulf of California and Gulf of Mexico (mostly Monsoon).

You might find this graphic of interest.

Asmerom Bat Cave Study

What is shown here are periods of drought shown in oranges and browns (which I gather are supposed to look gray) and the long period where the Monsoon was essentially absent. The authors call this the Hiatus. The Period 1350 AD to 1650 AD is of most interest. This corresponds with what is called the Little Ice Age (LIA). In 1680 there was in New Mexico what is called the Pueblo Revolt. My house is located either next to or perhaps on the site of a key part of that revolt. Like with most historical events, there are many causes but changes in climate were probably involved both in creating the large population in this area (similar to the current level of population here) and making life very difficult for this large population. We are quite familiar with the more or less 60 year cycles commonly called the PDO and AMO. But are there longer cycles? Another piece of the puzzle might be the Sunspot Cycles which are described in this paper.

There is much that is interesting in the stalagmite (I keep them separate by associating the "g" in stalagmite with growing from the ground and the "c" in stalactite as growing from the ceiling) analysis paper. It provides a basis for thinking about droughts that are longer than can be attributed to phases of the AMO and PDO. Such droughts may well tend to occur Worldwide (bad news re thinking that food deficits in one area can be made up elsewhere) and they tend to be associated with cold SST's not warm SST's. Talk about "an inconvenient truth". I doubt that the political establishment offers refunds for the dissemination of incorrect information.

The IPCC Climate Change models seem to agree that in the future all the Monsoons will be wetter except the North American Monsoon. The North American Monsoon is an outlier relative to the IPCC AR5 WGI Report. It is projected to be weaker. This paper raises questions on that re the historical record. But the North American Monsoon is a strange Monsoon as the actually monsoon is located in the Sonoran Area of Mexico. The U.S. is just on the edge of this monsoon. So the Monsoon itself could be stronger but the Impact on the U.S. Southwest might not be stronger. However this study suggests that in the Guadalupe Mountains of Southeast New Mexico, the North American Monsoon was stronger when it was warmer. This actually makes sense when you realize how monsoons work. But the Guadalupe Mountains are not the entire Southwest. So by itself it does not tell the full picture but it is pretty suggestive. It is also important to recognize that the North American Monsoon, sometimes called the Southwest Monsoon, or the Arizona Monsoon, impacts many CONUS states not just the states in the Southwest. So there are many variables including start and end dates, extent of impact beyond the Southwest, and the split of impact between Arizona and New Mexico.

What is the North American Monsoon. There are many resources for understand the North American Monsoon but I found these graphics from this University of Arizona report to be very useful.

The below graphic show how CONUS winter and summer storm tracks differ. In the winter there are usually two storm tracks as shown in this graphic. One is the Mid-Latitude Jet Stream and the other is the occasional Southern Branch of that same Jet Stream. The Southern Branch is on again off again and that is why the Southwest tends to be semi-arid. This graphic represents some sort of average conditions and does not take into account such factors as the phases of the PDO, AMO, ENSO and other factors which impact the location and behavior of the Jet Stream. In the summer, the storm track is further north so the Southwest rarely has precipitation delivered by the prevailing westerlies. Instead the differential heating of the land versus the oceans creates low pressure and convection in Mexico and north of that process there are various high pressure systems which when well positioned draw the moist subtropical air into CONUS. I was glad to see that this graphic showed the influence of the Bermuda High on the process and we discussed that last summer and we will discuss it gain soon but probably not next week as next week is when NOAA releases their updated Seasonal Outlook. The Bermuda High also called the Azores High or NASH has a seasonal migration which brings it closer to CONUS in the summer but it also has its one 60 year cycle so we will talk about that also.

Summer Versus Winter

How does it come on?

Just as the above graphic relates to an average year, the below also applies to an average year and shows the seasonal evolution from June to July. In June, the High Pressure system called the Monsoonal Ridge is not usually far enough north for the anticyclonic wind pattern to draw the moist tropical moisture up into Arizona and New Mexico. This tends to not happen on a regular basis until July. Notice the potential to impact a very large number of states. It is not just the Southwest which is impacted. It is a very complicated process as there are two mountain ranges in Mexico which impact things and there are two bodies of water which provide the moisture: the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico.
One can see how the IPCC CC Models have great difficulty in putting this all together to assess what the ultimate impact will be. I do not blame them but I do blame politicians who draw assumptions which are premature and academics who write reports when they know full well that there are many studies that arrive at different conclusions. When the answer is "we do not know for sure", that is a proper answer. We have a better idea of how the process worked historically during cool periods (megadroughts) than we know how it will work during periods that are warmer than the historical record.

North American Monsoon Development June to July

Remember, these graphics are simplifications.

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. 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.

7 Day 500 MB Geopotential Forecast

We are no longer interested in the 540 snow line but the 582 thickness line might be associated with close to record warm temperatures. We also now see a 588 thickness isopleth and even 594 but it is not showing today so perhaps the forecast has moderated. Local  forecasters have issued forecasts calling for for 600dm in certain low areas this week which would lead to life-threatening temperatures. We now see a Great Lakes trough. And we we see a very large Four Corners High which normally would not have developed this early in the summer raising the possibility of an early start to the Monsoon but I have low confidence in that based on other information being issued by NOAA. The large size tends to make it more of a blocking high than a high where its circulation draws up subtropical moist air. Until the Monsoon starts, it seems that Arizona is going to be brutally hot and the "H" marks the location of the most intense heat.  Remember this is a Day 7 Forecast and changes to the forecast occur regularly although the overall pattern tends to change slowly. My "go to" place for heat is the Phoenix NWS and there is some historical info for this coming week that they have published over the past couple of days
Records Related to the Week Ahead
Date Phoenix Yuma
June 18 115 in 2015 116 in 2015
June 19 115 in 1968 115 in 1960
June 20 115 in 1968 116 in 2008
June 21 115 in 2008 116 in 1968
Top 5 Hottest Temperatures All Time
Rank Phoenix Yuma
1 122 on July 26, 1990 124 on July 28, 1995
2 121 on July 28, 1995 123 on Sept 1, 1950
3 120 on June 25, 1990 122 on June 26, 1990
4 119 on June 29, 2013 120  on Aug 27, 1981
5 118 on Several days 120 on June 24, 1957

The 115 and 116 this coming week are likely to be broken most likely this weekend. The forecast suggests that temperatures in excess of 120F are not likely but this is mid -June and the all time records were set later in the summer. It can get really hot in the Southwest before the Monsoon arrives and during breaks in the Monsoon.

The MJO has had significant impacts this winter but the impact on June is not likely to be very noticeable The MJO is not likely to have much of an impact for the month of June due to the time of the year and the lack of indication of the MJO cycle being strong at this time.   But over the next few months, it might slow the development of the La Nina.

Western Pacific Tropical Activity

Notice the Northern Pacific is again more like a giant anticyclone with clockwise motion so that which gets sent west at low latitudes is to some extent returned to North America but at higher latitudes. That pattern was interrupted last week probably due to the demise of the El Nino and the impact of the MJO. We still do not see the rapid movement of storms at lower latitudes from east to west. Most of CONUS storms are originating from Asia without nearly as much support from storms related to the Equator although we see some of that occurring.  The entire circulation has slowed down as one would expect this time of the year.

 Water Vapor Imagery

As I am looking at the above graphic Monday evening June 13, I see a dry Southwest, a storm impacting eastern Texas, and a wetter region across the Northern Part of CONUS. It also looks like there was another "dry line" that flared up. You can find them often where the mountains meet the prairie. Whenever two different types of air masses interact, the potential for precipitation is there. As we move into a Summer Pattern, the concept of a storm track west to east becomes less relevant and we focus more on south to north movements i.e. the Monsoon in the Southwest and Tropical Storms in the East and Gulf of Mexico. 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.

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 June 7, 2016 Version and looking at Week 2 of that forecast.
Tropical Hazards

Mostly I see for the period June 15 -  June 21, 2016   a calming of the situation from this past week with just a few areas of moderate confidence of above average precipitation. There is not much to see here.

For CONUS, this is more specific and near term.

And here is pretty much the same information with interpretation and a focus on tropical storms.  It does not cover as wide an area e.g. it does not cover the Western Pacific or the Atlantic far east of the U.S.  I have not been showing this graphic during the winter.

Eastern Pacific Tropical Storms

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

The Aleutian Low seemed to have retired for the Summer.  But now it looks like it has decided to again pay us a visit and impact North American weather. It is not very strong.
The High Pressure off of California, the familiar RRR, is here and quite large and strong and protecting the West Coast from Pacific storms. It is normal for this time of the year unlike during the winter.  Recently, I provided this K - 12 write up that provides a simple explanation on the importance of semipermanent Highs and Lows and another link that discussed 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.

Looking at the current activity of the Jet Stream which continues to be quite far north.

Current Jet Stream

The path of the current weather pattern is fairly clear from this graphic and it is across the Northern Tier of CONUS. This time of the year, weather patterns are moving from west to east more slowly than usual and this also raises flooding issues as storms can stay over a given area for longer times than during mid-Winter.

And here is the forecast out five days with a continuation of the overall northern tendency in the pattern.

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 ENSO.

Daily SST Anomaly

The waters off of Japan remain warm but may be changing. The Indian Ocean is warm but much less so than recently especially east of Africa. The waters off of New Zealand are warm and are generating storms which impact surf conditions all the way to North America. That may have run its course. There has been some limited tropical activity off the East Coast of Australia but the waters north of Australia to Indonesia are where the major part of the warm anomaly is found but that seems to be easing. The overall Northern Pacific is indeed PDO Positive (the horseshoe pattern with the cool anomaly inside the horseshoe shape). The PDO Index rose to 2.4 in March which with El Nino fading may be significant. It was up to 2.62 in April but eased to 2.35 in May. The question remains about the PDO. Is it acting independently of the El Nino or is this the change from PDO- to PDO+ that would signal a multi-decadal change in the Pacific.  Here is the list of PDO values. The water off the West Coast of North America is very warm but perhaps not as intense as recently. It is not hugging the coast. The water off the East Coast is warm...beware of shark attacks and possible cyclonic development that might impact Florida. The water off of South America is not showing much a La Nina pattern even though El Nino is history. In fact it is looking more El Ninoish this week. There is a very narrow cool anomaly in the Pacific right along the Equator but it is fading. It visually looks more like ENSO Neutral than all the way to La Nina and it may be what is called a La Nina Modoki.  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. But that warm anomaly has moved to the south and the waters of the British Isles now show a warm anomaly. The warm water off of West Africa is now further south in the gulf of Guinea thus reducing the probabilities of an active hurricane season this summer at least for the time being. The waters north of Antarctica are uniformly colder than climatology but other than southeast of South America, it is less intense than recently. I have additional commentary on much of this static analysis of the anomalies below where I examine the four-week change in these anomalies.
Since these are "departures" or "anomalies", it is not a seasonal pattern that is being shown it is the changes from what we would expect on a seasonal basis.

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

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 to my draft report, compare and comment on the change and then delete the old one to keep this report to a manageable size. Also it is important to recognize that what you see in this graphic is the change in the anomaly. So blue means either cooler or less warm. Red means warmer or less cool. So you have to refer to the graphic above this one to really interpret this graphic as what we are seeing here is the change in the anomalies. What we see in this graphic is four weeks of change not the current absolute anomalies which are today two graphics further up. It is not derivatives in the mathematical sense but deltas. They are somewhat similar. The graphic above this one has no time component. It is simply the deviation from climatology and this graphic below shows the four week change in the deviation from climatology. So it is a bit like the first (graphic above) and second (graphic below) derivatives but not exactly. I take it a step further by comparing this weeks version of the graphic to the prior week and report on the differences below.

June 13, 2016 Change in Weekly SST Departures

What I see as I look at both last week's version of this graphic and the current one (before deleting the prior version) is much less intensification of the warming pattern off of Japan. Also there is also the completion of the warming off of the west coast of Africa. IOD Negative is happening. The cooling off the East Coast of Africa has slowed down a bit and has basically erased and reversed the long standing warm anomalies. There is some continued warming north of Australia. The waters off of the British Isles and Northern Africa are warming. The AMO is becoming less positive. La Nina is fading.  [That is not a misprint.]

This is a good time to discuss the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation or AMO. It has a big impact on CONUS summer weather especially precipitation and we will be discussing this more in the weeks ahead. This graphic is from the paper Variations in North American Summer Precipitation Driven by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation QI HU,SONG FENG, AND ROBERT J. OGLESBY.  Here is the link. We will be discussing this and related papers a lot more in the coming weeks.

AMO

You can see that the patterns are kind of the opposite of each other. One expects the AMO to be moving towards neutral but it has not just yet. The Index itself is measured from 0 - 60N, 7.5 - 75W.  Here is the AMO Index. It is a bit more difficult to pin down but  there is a related cycle: the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Most pay attention to the high-frequency seasonal variations in this oscillation but there is a low-frequency component also. Here is a good reference link. The Scandinavians pay more attention to this cycle for obvious reasons.

6 - 14 Day Outlook Plus the Week 3-4 Experimental Forecasts

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 JJA Outlook and the recently updated Outlook for the single month of June and then discuss the 6 - 10 Day and 8 - 14 Day Maps and the 6 - 14 Day NOAA Discussion within that framework.

First - Temperature

Here is the Three-Month JJA Temperature Outlook issued on May 19, 2016:

JJA Temperature Outlook Issue on May 19, 2016

Here is the Updated Outlook for June Temperatures issued on May 31, 2016.

June 2016 Updated Temperature Outlook Issued on May 31, 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 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 June 13, it appears that the main features from now to the last week of June will be intense heat in parts of the Southwest and generally warm all over.

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

It is easy to see how the 8 - 14 Day Outlook might morph into the Week 3 - 4 Experimental Outlook.

Now - Precipitation

Here is the three-month JJA Precipitation Outlook issued on May 19, 2016:

JJA Precipitation Outlook Issue on May 19, 2016

Here is the Updated Outlook for June Precipitation Issued on May 31, 2016

June 2016 Updatged Precipitation Outlook Issued on May 31, 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 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 June 13 (they update each day), it looks like precipitation leading up to the last week of June will be scarce except in the Great Lakes Area.

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.

This week, the progression from the 6 - 10 Day and 8 - 14 Day to the Week 3-4 forecast kind of suggests a retrograde movement of the wet area to the west of where it is forecast to be earlier in the progression. That is certainly possible and suggests an expansion perhaps of High Pressure for the East Coast.

Here are excerpts from the NOAA discussion released today June 13, 2016.

6-10 DAY OUTLOOK FOR JUN 19 - 23 2016

THE VARIOUS ENSEMBLE MEAN MID-TROPOSPHERIC HEIGHT FORECASTS ARE IN GENERALLY  GOOD AGREEMENT ON THE PREDICTED CIRCULATION PATTERN FOR THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD. THE FORECAST PATTERN CONSISTS OF ANOMALOUS 500-HPA RIDGING SOUTH OF THE ALEUTIANS AND OVER MOST OF THE CONTIGUOUS U.S., WITH WEAK TROUGHS EXPECTED NEAR THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST, THE NORTHEAST/MID-ATLANTIC COAST, AND ALONG THE WEST COAST OF ALASKA. THIS FORECAST PATTERN IS TYPICAL FOR EARLY SUMMER,  FAVORING WESTERLY FLOW ALOFT ACROSS THE NORTHERN TIER OF THE CONUS. THIS WEST-TO-EAST ORIENTED ATMOSPHERIC CORRIDOR ALSO DEFINES THE GENERAL LOCATION OF THE PRIMARY STORM TRACK AND ASSOCIATED POLAR JET STREAM. SPREAD AMONG ENSEMBLE MEMBERS OF THE GFS, EUROPEAN AND CANADIAN MODELS IS CONSIDERED LOW TO MODERATE.

THE SURFACE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK IS BASED ON CALIBRATED AND UNCALIBRATED  VERSIONS OF THE REFORECAST TEMPERATURE TOOL, THE AUTOMATED BLENDED TEMPERATURE TOOL, NAEFS TEMPERATURES, EXPECTED 2-METER TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES FROM THE VARIOUS MODELS, AND IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PREDICTED MANUAL 500-HPA BLENDED HEIGHT FIELD. THE EXPECTATION OF AN EXPANSIVE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE ACROSS MOST OF THE CONUS FAVORS ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES IN MOST AREAS. SHORT-WAVE ENERGY EAST OF THE TROUGH PREDICTED NEAR THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST IS FORECAST TO LEAD TO NEAR-NORMAL TEMPERATURES IN MONTANA, WHILE THE TROUGH PREDICTED NEAR THE NORTHEAST/MID-ATLANTIC COAST AND ITS ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT FAVOR NEAR- AND BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES FROM PORTIONS OF VIRGINIA SOUTHWARD INTO FLORIDA. ABOVE-NORMAL 500-HPA HEIGHTS OVER MOST OF ALASKA SUPPORTS ABOVE-NORMAL SURFACE TEMPERATURES, EXCEPT FOR NORTHWEST PORTIONS OF THE STATE, WHERE A TROUGH IS PREDICTED TO BE.

THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK IS BASED ON CALIBRATED AND UNCALIBRATED VERSIONS OF THE REFORECAST PRECIPITATION TOOL, THE AUTOMATED BLENDED PRECIPITATION TOOL, AND IS GENERALLY CONSISTENT WITH THE PREDICTED BLENDED MANUAL HEIGHT FORECAST. ODDS OF BELOW-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ARE ELEVATED ACROSS MUCH OF THE CONUS. ODDS OF ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ARE ELEVATED ACROSS THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI/UPPER GREAT LAKES REGION (DUE TO PASSING SHORT-WAVE ENERGY), AND THE WESTERN GULF COAST AND EXTREME SOUTHERN FLORIDA (DUE TO A STALLED FRONT DRAPED ACROSS THIS REGION). ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS ALSO FAVORED IN ALASKA, DUE TO AN ACTIVE, PROGRESSIVE PATTERN AND EMBEDDED WEATHER SYSTEMS.

FORECAST CONFIDENCE FOR THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD: ABOVE AVERAGE, 4 OUT OF 5, DUE TO FAIRLY GOOD AGREEMENT AMONG VARIOUS FORECAST MODELS AND TOOLS.

8-14 DAY OUTLOOK FOR JUN 21 - 27 2016

THE PREDICTED WEEK-2 500-HPA CIRCULATION PATTERN IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE CIRCULATION PATTERN EXPECTED DURING THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD, WITH ONLY SLIGHT DIFFERENCES. MODEL SPREAD IS CONSIDERED LOW TO MODERATE FOR THE GFS, ECMWF, AND CANADIAN MODELS. THE PREDICTED WEEK-2 SURFACE TEMPERATURE PATTERN DEPICTS AN EVEN LARGER COVERAGE OF ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE LOWER 48 STATES RELATIVE TO THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD, WITH NEAR-NORMAL TEMPERATURES FAVORED ONLY IN SOUTHERN TEXAS. IN ALASKA, AN EXPANSION OF NEAR-NORMAL TEMPERATURES IS  ANTICIPATED ACROSS THE MIDDLE PORTION OF THE STATE, WITH SOME LOCALIZED AREAS PERHAPS EXPERIENCING BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES. HOWEVER, TO ACCURATELY PREDICT WHERE THESE VERY LOCALIZED ANOMALIES MAY BE AT THE WEEK-2 TIME RANGE IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. COMPARED TO THE 6-10 DAY PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK, THE WEEK-2  PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK DEPICTS AN EASTWARD EXPANSION OF FAVORED ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES REGION AND INTO THE NORTHEAST. TOMORROW'S  DYNAMICAL MODEL OUTPUT SHOULD ALSO HELP IN DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT A TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMS ALONG THE STALLED FRONT PREDICTED IN THE GULF OF MEXICO, AND HOW MUCH MOISTURE MAY MOVE BACK TOWARDS FLORIDA.

FORECAST CONFIDENCE FOR THE 8-14 DAY PERIOD IS: ABOUT AVERAGE, 3 OUT OF 5, DUE TO GOOD AGREEMENT AMONG THE MODEL SOLUTIONS, OFFSET BY UNCERTAINTY DUE TO A RELATIVELY LOW-AMPLITUDE FORECAST PATTERN.

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 the Outlook.

Now let us take a detailed look at the "Analogs" which NOAA provides related to the Outlook.

I prefer the set of analogs that relates 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. But the NOAA system for generating those pre-forecast analogs is not working.  They publish a second set of analogs which relates the 6 - 10 Day Outlook to previous occurrences of that weather pattern and similarly for the 8 -14 Day Outlook. So that is what I am using today. It is explained here and here. I do not like my work being doubled so I decided to just use the second set of analogs which corresponds to Day 11 of the Outlook. In my mind that set of analogs tells you nothing (zilch) about the reliability of the forecasts but is helpful in predicting the outlook for the subsequent time periods. That is interesting also. I am also presenting them today in the order that they are provided which means the ones at the top have the highest level of correlation with the forecast and thus are more reliable for forecasting future time periods.

Day

ENSO

Phase

PDO AMO

Other Comments

June 8, 1952 Neutral - +  
June 9, 1952 Neutral - +  
June 4, 1988 La Nina + +  
June 4, 1991 El Nino - - Modoki
June 10, 1991 El Nino - - Modoki
June 11, 1991 El Nino - - Modoki
May 27, 1996 Neutral + - Right after a La Nina
June 20, 1998 El Nino + + Tail End of the SuperNino
June 25, 1998 El Nino + + Tail End of the SuperNino

One thing that jumped out at me right away was the spread among the analogs from May 27 to June 25 which is just over four weeks. If you exclude the May 27 analog, the spread is June 4 to June 25 which is three weeks. That can be a sign that current conditions (as represented in the historical analogs) are not quite as consistent for this time of the year as one might expect but this is a transition time of the year. I have not examined the centroid of this distribution carefully but it looks about right i.e. an unscientific analysis yields perhaps June 10 (if you exclude the May 27 Analog) which is only three days before June 13 and these are analogs centered on 3 days and 4 days ago (June 9 or 10) so things seem to be in sync pretty well. But the forecast is for warmer weather than is normal for this time of the year and the forecast anomalies are adjusted for Global Warming so that is not the explanation.

I think NOAA would appreciate it if I said that these analogs are not a substitute for their very sophisticated forecasting software and I am not suggesting that they are. I present them partially for curiosity purposes but also to see how current conditions correlate with medium and low frequency cycles. The medium frequency cycle I track is ENSO and the two low- frequency cycles I track are the PDO and AMO. When I see that forecasts are consistent with the current phases of these cycles (as represented by the analogs), that seems very suggestive to me that our weather is probably fairly easy to forecast. If the analogs are all over the place then I have to wonder if the forecasts are good or if our weather is just not related to these cycles. That certainly can be the case. So I am doing some research here and you are seeing how I look at things. I hope you find it interesting.

There are this time five El Nino Analogs, three ENSO Neutral Analogs and just one La Nina Analog suggesting that we are now beyond the time of the year where the Phase of ENSO is very important or that El Nino is still having an impact or the choice of Analogs may deserve some attention.

The phases of the ocean cycles in the analogs lean slightly towards McCabe conditions B and C. But the leaning towards B is influenced (in my assessment in the prior sentence) by three analogs related to the same ENSO event. The 6 to 14 Day Outlook is not at all similar to McCabe Condition B. McCabe Condition C is however fairly consistent with the forecast. 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. One of the major reasons that I write this weather and climate column is to encourage a more long term and World view of weather.

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 (Perhaps the title should change and it probably will next week)

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
June 7 -29.5 -0.12 -6.85
June 8   -4.2 -0.89 -6.89
June 9 +19.0 -0.52 -6.68
June 10 +18.0 +0.23 -6.51
June 11 +14.9 +1.07 -6.39
June 12   +0.2 +1.14 -6.47
June 13  -1.40 +1.01 -6.68

 

The Queensland website has been slow re updates for a few months. So on June 13, I reported what they had presented at that time which was through June 10 and today June 14 I have updated this report.

 

The 30-day average, which is the most widely used measure, as of June 13 is reported at +1.01 which is no longer associated with an El Nino (usually required to be more negative than -8.0 but some consider -6.0 or even -5.0 value good enough). It is now clearly Neutral. The 90-day average barely remains in El Nino territory at -6.68 almost unchanged from last week. 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 no longer continues to be indicative of an El Nino Event in progress.

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 now see westerly anomalies which are retarding the development of the La Nina. This is an El Nino pattern.  

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 vanished. There no longer is any sign of El Nino except for dry conditions in the Western Pacific.

Kelvin Waves

I am discontinuing coverage of the Kelvin Waves until they become relevant again. 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.

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 130EÂ  to 90W Longitude and from the surface down to 450 meters.

The top graphic shows surface temperature anomalies. The 0.5 C anomaly now only shows up between 170E and the Dateline all of which is west of the ONI Measurement Area. Conversely we now see -1C cool anomalies extend out to 145W and -0.5C to 155W with fewer gaps. But the coolest water at the surface does not extend very far north and south of the Equator which is why we are in ENSO Neutral not yet La Nina. There is actually a warm anomaly at 100W.  

The bottom half of the graphic (Absolute Values which highlights the Thermocline) perhaps is now more useful as we shift our focus and begin tracking the progress of this new Cool Event.

It shows the thermocline between warm and cool water. The 25C Isotherm is now reaching the surface at 130W; 24C at 110W, and the 23C Isotherm no longer reaches the surface.   The 28C Isotherm has moved west to about 170W. This graphic does not show a 27.5C anomaly which might more precisely indicate where convection is likely to occur. The 27C isotherm is now at about 155W. Clearly the area has moved west as one expects when an El Nino dies. But mostly the warm anomaly has simply vanished.

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

We now have to change our focus from tracking the El Nino to tracking the transition to ENSO Neutral and most likely to ENSO La Nina. So I am deleting many of the TAO/TRITON graphics to show how the El Nino developed except one which was close to the maximum. It was not the maximum but it was the one that I froze which was the closest to the maximum that I saved. It is useful for comparing the current situation with the pattern that prevailed near the peak of the El Nino this past winter.

January 19, 2016 Frozen TAU/TRITON Graphic

And here is the current version of the TAO/TRITON Graphic.

We seem to be having a number of things going on at the same time. The warm anomaly is almost gone, the cool anomaly extends further into the Pacific but the cool anomaly near Ecuador is actually weaker.   So the actual pattern may be more nuanced than is being measured by the models.

Current SST and wind anomalies

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

 

The 3.5C through 1.5C anomalies are no longer visible in the ONI Measurement Areas. So the maximum anomalies have declined by two and one half degrees Centigrade. 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. 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 gone I believe. A little later in the article I will do my own calculation and report on the NOAA calculation.

The below table which only looks at the Equator shows the extent of anomalies along the Equator. I had split the table to show warm, neutral, and cool anomalies. The top rows showed El Nino anomalies. When there were no more El Nino anomalies along the Equator, I eliminated those rows but I may not have mentioned that a couple of weeks ago when I did that. The two rows just below that break point contribute to ENSO Neutral and after another break the rows are associated with La Nina conditions. I have changed the reference date to May 23, 1016 and may not have announced that in the week when I did that. May 23, 2016 is about when I began to focus on the cool phase of ENSO rather than the warm phase.
Comparing Now to May 23, 2016

Subareas of the Anomaly

Westward Extension Eastward Extension Degrees of Coverage

Today

May 23, 2016

Today

May 2016

Today

In Nino 3.4

May 23, 2016
These Rows Show the Extent of ENSO Neutral Impacts on the Equator
0.5C or cooler Anomaly

165W

155E

Land

155W

70

45

50
0C or cooler Anomaly

158W

155W

Land

Land

63

38

60
These Rows Show the Extent of the La Nina Impacts on the Equator
-0.5C or cooler Anomaly

150W

145W

130W

Land

20

20

55
-1C or cooler Anomaly

LAND

140W

LAND

105W

0

0

35
-1.5C or cooler Anomaly

LAND

135W

LAND

120W

0

0

15

  

If you just look on the Equator there are 38 to 45 degrees of ENSO Neutral anomalies and only 20 degrees of La Nina anomalies. Away from the Equator it is generally warmer when a La Nina is trying to get started. For whatever reason, we have less of a potential La Nina being recorded this week than last and last week was a reduction from the prior week. I am not suggesting that La Nina is not coming but it certainly has been delayed possibly due to the MJO.  

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 June 13, in the afternoon working from the June 12 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 +0.8 +0.8
B. 160W to 150W +0.2 +0.4
C. 150W to 140W -0.2 +0.2
D. 140W to 130W -0.8 -0.2
E. 130W to 120W -0.7 -0.1
Total -0.7 +1.1
Total divided by five subregions i.e. the ONI (-0.7)/5 = -0.1 (1.1)/5 = +0.2

 

My estimate of the daily Nino 3.4 ONI has increased to +0.2. NOAA  has reported the weekly ONI to be slightly HIGHER  than their report last week at +0.1 which is an ENSO Neutral value but slightly on the El Nino side of the scale.   Nino 4.0 is being reported slightly‚   warmer at 0.6‚   still raising questions about if and how fast the Warm Pool is migrating to the West as it dissipates.   Nino 3.0 is being reported higher 0.0. Nino 1 + 2 which extends from the Equator south rather than being centered on the Equator is being reported as being +0.6.‚  We‚   do not measure ENSO there but that is an El Nino Value. Notice that Nino 1+2 had gone fairly negative for a short period of time but then bounced back. This La Nina is not coming on like gangbusters. WELCOME TO ENSO NEUTRAL. 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. The same data in graphical form but going back a couple of more years can be found here.

June 13, 2016 Nino Readings

ONI Recent History

June 6, 2016 ONI History

The official reading for Mar/Apr/May is now reported as 1.1. 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.

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

Although I did not discuss the Kelvin Waves earlier, now seems to be the best place to show the evolution of the subsurface temperatures which remains relevant.

June 13, 2016 Subsurface Temperatures.

You can now see that the El Nino is totally gone. The coolest water, however, is only reaching the surface from 125W to 145W. Either this La Nina is shy or it is a Modoki.
   On the right you see every second week of this graphic historically so you can follow the progression.

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 continued to decline. At the very bottom of this graphic, which shows the most recent readings, you can see the cool (shades of blue) anomaly developing off the coast of Ecuador. This graphic integrates from 5N to 5S so the cool area just along the Equator is average out with warmer water slightly away from the Equator.

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

We have been showing 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.

But now that El Nino is over, we are switching our focus and the number of graphics have been reduced to cover the final four months of the El Nino (January through April) and refocus our attention to the current situation which is ENSO Neutral and which most likely will evolve into a La Nina but the strength of that La Nina is still open for debate. Of course after it happens we will know.

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 saw 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.

And here is what May looked like:

May 30, 2016 30 day Temperature and Precipitation Departures

The final days of this El Nino behaved like an El Nino. Quite interesting.

But looking at a longer time period in this 90 days or approximately three months.  

May 30, 2016 90 Day Tempeature and Precipitation Departures

Looking at the past three months (March - May), it certainly at least with respect to precipitation was more like a La Nina event than an El Nino event. Except for Texas. Northern California caught up and Northeast Mexico also. But Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California did not participate in this El Nino in 2016 although they did in the Fall of 2015. Variability is the norm

And now we start to track June and for that purpose I am repeating the prior 30 day period to make it easier to make comparisons.

May 30, 2016 30 Day Tempeature and Precipitation Departures

And here is the next report which adds one week and removes the first week of the 30 Day Period.

June 6, 2016 Kelvin Wave History

The biggest change seems to be in temperature. A lot cooler. The precipitation pattern has not changed very much. The East Coast has been much dryer.

And now the next update:

June 13, 1016 30 Day temperature and Precipitation Departures

Drought conditions prevailed fairly generally except in Texas and parts of the Southeast. Warm conditions returned to much of the West. We will see this more clearly in the next report as only seven days out of 30Â   changed in this report as compared to the prior 30-Day Report.

El Nino in the News

No news to report.

Global Warming in the News

Nothing to report.

Putting it all Together.

This El Nino has ended in terms of current satisfying the criteria. It is possible that officially it may not be declared dead until the end of June because the Mar - Apr - May value of the ONI at 1.1 satisfies the 0.5 cutoff and it is possible that the Apr - May - Jun average ONI may still meet the criteria even though the daily and weekly values no longer meet the criteria.

We are now speculating on the winter of 2016/2017 which now according to most of the models seems likely to be a La Nina or Neutral with a La Nina bias.

The below is the CPC/IRI forecast issued on May 12, 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.

May 16, 2016 IRI CP ENSO Forecast

And one week later we have the second report recognizing that last week was based on a survey and this week is based on model means.

May 23, 2016 IRI-CPC ENSO Forecast

And now we have the early June Consensus Forecast

June 9, 2016 CPC/IRI 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 June. So one does not have much confidence that June will be much impacted by El Nino although El Nino impacts lag the demise of an 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.

 CFS.V2 SST Forecast

The mean of the NOAA model was until recently forecasting a fairly strong La Nina for next winter. The model is gradually shifting to a weak La Nina Forecast. Notice the blue members of the ensemble forecast which are the more recent ones. The mean of the model ensemble has recently turned higher for next winter as you can see. You can see the same thing in the Australian POAMA model and the May 1 JAMSTEC model run and this topic is discussed quite well in the NOAA Discussion that was released with their Seasonal Update and which was discussed here when it was issued.

Here is a list of ENSO events since 1950. The same information is shown earlier but in a different format. Notice the ONI values for a La Nina never exceed absolute value of 2.0. These divisions are arbitrary but convenient. It is not clear that impacts are proportional to the ONI. But it provides a general idea of how many El Ninos and La Ninas there have been and how they measured up on the ONI scale. Most ENSO events are weak and have little impact on weather. There have been 21 ENSO events since 1950 which have been other than weak. That is about a third of the 65 year period. Given that the most recent El Nino was a "wimp" it seems that we have not had a strong ENSO event yet this Century.

El Nino   La Nina
Weak   Moderate   Strong   Very Strong   Weak   Moderate   Strong
L-0.5  Ã‚   to -1   -1   to -1.5   -1.5 to -2   -2 or more negative   0.5 to 1    1 to 1.5    1.5 to 2

1951-52

 

1963-64

 

1957-58

 

1982-83

 

1950-51

 

1955-56

 

1973-74

1952-53

 

1986-87

 

1965-66

 

1997-98

 

1954-55

 

1970-71

  

1975-76

1953-54

 

1987-88

 

1972-73

 

2015-16

 

1964-65

 

1998-99

 

1988-89

1958-59

 

1991-92

         

1967-68

 

1999-00

   

1968-69

  

2002-03

         

1971-72

 

2007-08

   

1969-70

 

2009-10

         

1974-75

 

2010-11

   

1976-77

             

1983-84

           

1977-78

             

1984-85

       

1979-80

             

1995-96

       

1994-95

             

2000-01

  Â   Â   Â  

2004-05

             

2011-12

       

2006-07

                       

 

 

Here is the May 1 Run of the JAMSTEC Model. The June 1 run is not yet available.

JAMSTEC May 1, 2016 ONI Forecast

The May 1 run was forecasting a weak to moderate La Nina for next winter and continuing as a La Nina or Neutral with a La Nina tendency for the subsequent winter. That could be the signal for the Pacific Climate Shift.

Here is a repeat of the Australian Model for comparison purposes.

Australia POAMA ENSO model run

It   does not extrapolate as far into the future as the JAMSTEC model. It is somewhat similar to the NOAA model but seems to be less certain that we will have a La Nina rather then ENSO Neutral with a La Nina tendency.

I realize it is impolite but our way of identifying the phases of ENSO seems fairly primitive to me. The Warm Pool has been depleted so there is no reinforcing warm water to be sent east by Kelvin Waves. So it is not really possible to have another El Nino winter. Thus it is fairly certain that the Eastern Pacific SST's will be cooler than climatology. Does this in and of itself create a La Nina? If the only criteria is the ONI, it will record as a La Nina or close to it. One does not need fancy computer models to know that will be the case. But will we have the La Nina Walker Circulation. Without that, you do not have the impacts associated with a La Nina. So you would have a La Nina in name only.

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 (in most weeks) 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. That seems to be slow to happen so I am thinking we need at least a couple more years for that to happen..maybe as many as five.

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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