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posted on 27 September 2016

September 26, 2016 Weather and Climate Report - Not Quite the Camino Real

Written by Sig Silber

At this point we have a storm that appears to be headed towards Baja California today (Monday) and back towards Salt Lake City on Thursday. It made me think of the Camino Real or Royal Road of which there were at least a half dozen in Mexico. At any rate, this very meridional trough for so early in the Fall may well dominate CONUS weather this week. Elsewhere, Typhoon Megi may pass North of the Philippines on the way to Taiwan and then possibly Hong Kong.  Next week we may have an interesting situation in the Gulf of Mexico. Lots to talk about.

 weather.caption

This West Coast storm to some extent seems to be retracing the path of a couple of the Royal Roads or El Camino Real of Old Mexico.But instead of Religion and Military uses and perhaps things of value like Macaws, the item this week will be moisture. 

First there is the Coastal Road which the trough is following south. Some call it the Mission Royal Road

Camino Real Mission Trail

There there is the more important, I believe, interior road.Those in California think their Camino Real is the real deal but the one that goes to Santa Fe connects to Mexico City so that kind of indicates which one was the real deal. It is odd that the one in California which was mostly a foot path is now a designated street in many places and the real one in New Mexico is mostly unknown but it passes near my house.

Camino Real Adentro.

Many storms follow this route probably because storms like people walking, on horseback, or using wagons do not like to cross mountains. So this is a fairly common pattern but kind of early on for it to be this pronounced.

More on La Nada  But it could turn out this becomes a weak La Nina. There has been recent strengthening. But the report from NOAA today shows a weakening. It is tricky.

A New Mexico Fall Outlook Analysis that really covers the entire CONUS

I really like this graphic from the above article. .

September 26, 2016 Oceans Big Picture

The above does a good job of showing how many things are interconnected.

A. Focus on Alaska and CONUS (all U.S. except Hawaii) - Let's Focus on the Current (Right Now to 5 Days Out) Weather Situation.

First, this graphic provides a good indication of where the moisture is. It is a bit different than just moisture imagery as it is quantitative.

 Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, Scripps/UCSD.

Notice that there is not a lot of moisture around CONUS except for the flow from the Gulf of Mexico up the lee side of the Rockies. And what is that out in the Pacific?

Here is a national animation of weather fronts 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 links provided below.

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.

U.S.  3 Day to  7 Day Forecasts

I have changed things up a bit and the below is a Day 3 Forecast not the Day 6 Forecast I usually present. It highlights the forecasted surface Highs and the Lows re air pressure on Day 3 (the Day 6 forecast can be found here.

Day 3 Weather Forecast

Right now the forecasted Aleutian Low has an hPa of 984 (the average in the winter is 1001 hPa and 994 hPa for a non-split Low). It is a unified single low but way west even beyond Kamchatka. The graphic changes every six hours so I can't keep up with it re my discussion. 
The High Pressure off of California, the familiar RRR, is here and quite large and reasonably strong at 1036 hPa. The RRR continues to do a good job of protecting the West Coast from Pacific storms and also providing northerly winds for California. It looks like the RRR would extend far enough south to trap any tropical storms that cross Mexico or other parts of Central America north enough not to be able to move west below the RRR. Can TS Roslyn impact CONUS. I suspect not but the models are split on this. 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. Remember this is a forecast for Day 3. It is not the current situation but Day 3 is not very far out.

You can enlarge the below daily (days 3 - 7) weather maps for CONUS only by clicking on Three Day or  Four Day or Five Day or Six Day or Seven Day 

Short term forecasts

Here is the seven day precipitation forecast. More information is available here.

Seven Day WPC Quantitative precipitation forecast

What you are seeing here is projected major precipitation events on the East Coast and immediately offshore.More on that later.

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 which now is NOW. But we do not yet see 540 snow levels so snow is likely now only in the mountains.

7 Day 500 MB Geopotential Forecast

Not sure one can rely on this graphic to locate the Four Corners High as it seems to be on vacation this Summer and Early Autumn. If it showed up on this graphic, one could draw or imagine a one-inch or so in radius circle overlain on the Four Corners High with an arrow showing the wind pattern is clockwise (anticyclone). One can then imagine where moisture might be being drawn into the edge of the High Pressure System.
Thinking about clockwise movements around High Pressure Systems and counter- clockwise movements around Low Pressure Systems provides a lot of information.
What you can see very clearly in the above is the progression of the Western Trough and Great Lakes Ridge.

The graphic below is the Eastern Pacific a 24 hr loop of recent readings. It does a good job of showing what is going on right now. The southwest winds approaching Baja California are of some interest. You can clearly see Tropical Storm Roslyn heading NE even though it is supposed to go north and then west.

Eastern Pacific

The graphic below (which is a bit redundant with the above) updates automatically so it most likely will look different by the time you look at it as the weather patterns, except for the Southwest Monsoon, are moving from west to east. It highlights the tropical activity. Unlike the above which shows recent history, the below graphic is a satellite image with the forecast of tropical events superimposed on the satellite image. There is no significant tropical activity forecast for this week but next week could be very very different.  

Eastern Pacific Tropical Storms

Below is the current water vapor Imagery for North America. 

 Water Vapor Imagery

Tonight, Monday evening September 26 (and this is the current situation not an animation of recent history), as I am looking at the above graphic, there is not much activity other than in the Southern Tier and East Coast. Water vapor imagery is a bit different than the above two graphics as it focuses on the water vapor in clouds rather than the clouds themselves.

Looking at the current activity of the Jet Stream.

The sub-Jetstream level intensity winds shown by the vectors in this graphic are very important. You can see how TS Roslyn has the ability to enter CONUS. One also sees a lot of activity across the Northern Tier.

Current Jet StreamBelow is the forecast out five days.

This time of the year there is often not enough agreement in the model forecasts re the exact location and timing of the multiple meteorological systems in play that one can predict with great precision exactly how this will play out.

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.That is exactly what is forecast for the forecast Pacific-off low

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.

When we discuss the jet stream and for other reasons, we often discuss different layers of the atmosphere. These are expressed in terms of the atmospheric pressure above that layer. It is kind of counter-intuitive to me. The below table may help the reader translate air pressure to the usual altitude and temperature one might expect at that level of air pressure. It is just an approximation but useful.

air pressure and altitude
Re the above, H8 is a frequently used abbreviation for the height of the 850 millibar level, H7 is the 700 mb level, H5 is the 500 mb level, H3 is the 300 mb level. So if you see those abbreviations in a weather forecast you will know what they are talking about.

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. This amazing graphic covers North and South America.

Special Alert re a Possible Week-Two Event

Here is the latest and it will auto-update. It is not clear what the impacts if any will be other than some increase in precipitation. This could  dissipate, impact Gulf Coast weather, pass over Central American into the Pacific etc. etc.It is not predicted to be a strong storm in terms of wind. But there is a good chance it will impact our weather. There is a new theory that it will turn north and impact Florida and perhaps then the East Coast. I think some of the quantitative precipitation forecasts have built that scenario into their estimates. I guess the definitive forecast on this is no one know where this tropical depression will go or what it might do.

Five Day Tropical Weather Outlook

This most likely will impact CONUS the following week but not necessarily in a predictable way

Antillies

Map courtesy of Kmusser  and Wikipedia

Four- Week Outlook

I am going to show the three-month OND Outlook (for reference purposes), the Updated Outlook for the single month of October, the 6 - 10 Day and 8 - 14 Day Maps and the Week 3 -  4 Experimental Outlook. 

First - Temperature

Here is the Three-Month OND Temperature Outlook issued on September 15, 2015, 2016:

OND Temperature Outlook Issued on September 15, 2016

Here is the Early Temperature Outlook for October which was updated on September 15, 2016

September Early Temperature Outlook Issued on September`15, 2016

 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

As I view these maps on September 26 (two of the five update each day and one (the Week 3 - 4 Outlook) updates every Friday), it appears that through October 21 the pattern during the beginning of October will be  a  cool west and a warm East and Alaska. That pattern is expected to change in the middle of October to a warm West and a small cool anomaly in the Midwest. It is a two-week duration forecast so it could start much like the end of the 8 - 14 Day Outlook and gradually morph into this pattern as systems move from west to east or NOAA could simply change their mind this Friday when this graphic updates.

 Now - Precipitation 

Here is the three-month OND Precipitation Outlook issued on September 15, 2016 :

OND Precipitation Outlook Issued on September 15, 2016

And here is the Early Outlook for October Precipitation Issued on September 15,  2016

October 2016 Early Precipitation Outlook Updated on September 15, 2016

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..

As I view these maps on September 26 (two of the five update each day and one (the Week 3 - 4 Outlook) updates every Friday), it looks like precipitation leading up to October 21 is tending for the beginning of October to be a wet Northwest and dry Central Plains anomaly. The pattern is projected to evolve in the middle of October to one with a greatly reduced Northwest wet anomaly, a small Southwest wet anomaly and a robust Plains and Midwest dry anomaly.

Here is the NOAA discussion released today September 26, 2016.

6-10 DAY OUTLOOK FOR OCT 02 - 06 2016

TODAY'S MODEL SOLUTIONS ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT. TROUGHING IS GENERALLY PREDICTED OVER THE BERING SEA. SPLIT FLOW, WITH RIDGING OVER ALASKA AND TROUGHING INTO THE WESTERN CONUS, FOLLOWED BY DOWNSTREAM RIDGING OVER THE EASTERN CONUS ARE ALSO FEATURES COMMON TO THE AVAILABLE MODEL OUTPUTS. THE AVAILABLE MODEL SOLUTIONS ALSO AGREE ON BELOW AVERAGE HEIGHTS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO. THE MODELS DIFFER ON HOW FAR SOUTH THE TROUGH IS LIKELY TO DIG OVER THE SOUTHWEST, WITH THE EUROPEAN CENTER MODELS DEPICTING LOWER HEIGHTS FROM THE SOUTHWEST TO THE GULF OF MEXICO. MANY GEFS RUNS HAVE A STRIP OF NEAR TO ABOVE AVERAGE HEIGHTS OVER THE SOUTHERN PLAINS. 

THE PATTERN DESCRIBED ABOVE FAVORS ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR ALASKA, WITH RIDGING AND ABOVE AVERAGE HEIGHTS OVER MUCH OF THE STATE. SOME LOW-LEVEL EASTERLY FLOW COULD BRING TEMPERATURES CLOSER TO NORMAL FOR EASTERN ALASKA. TROUGHING OVER THE WESTERN CONUS FAVORS BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FROM THE WEST COAST TO THE HIGH PLAINS. RIDGING ALOFT AND AT LOWER LEVELS FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE EASTERN HALF OF THE CONUS.

THE TROUGHING OVER THE BERING SEA SEEDS A POTENTIAL STORM TRACK INTO WESTERN ALASKA, FAVORING ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION THERE, WHILE THE RIDGING OVER MAINLAND ALASKA FAVORS BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION. TROUGHING OVER THE WESTERN CONUS OVER TOP OF LOW-LEVEL SOUTHERLY FLOW FAVORS ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST TO THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY AND CENTRAL GREAT PLAINS. THE RIDGING OVER THE EASTERN CONUS FAVORS BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION. SOME MODELS ARE INDICATING THE POTENTIAL FOR A TROPICAL CYCLONE TO MOVE INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO LATER IN THE PERIOD, WHILE THE GEFS-BASED SOLUTIONS RECURVE THE DISTURBANCE OVER THE BAHAMAS WITH POTENTIAL WEAKER IMPACTS TO FLORIDA. CORRESPONDINGLY, ODDS FOR BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION WERE REDUCED OVER THE GULF COAST WHILE ODDS FOR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION OVER MUCH OF FLORIDA WERE RETAINED FROM YESTERDAY'S OUTLOOK.

FORECAST CONFIDENCE FOR THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD: ABOVE AVERAGE, 4 OUT OF 5, DUE TO GOOD AGREEMENT AMONG MODEL SOLUTIONS IN A MORE AMPLIFIED LONGWAVE PATTERN, BUT INCREASED UNCERTAINTY DUE TO POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE ACTIVITY.  

8-14 DAY OUTLOOK FOR OCT 04 - 10 2016 

MODEL AGREEMENT ON THE PREDICTED 500-HPA PATTERN DECREASES FROM THE PRIOR PERIOD, ALTHOUGH THE ENSEMBLE MEANS FROM THE GFS, EUROPEAN CENTER AND ENVIRONMENT CANADA DEPICT GENERALLY SIMILAR PATTERNS. PREDICTED ANOMALIES ARE WEAKER IN THE GFS-BASED AND CANADIAN MODELS. GEFS-BASED SOLUTIONS GENERALLY HAVE A MORE EASTWARD TRACK FOR THE PREDICTED TROPICAL CYCLONE OVER THE CARIBBEAN AND WESTERN ATLANTIC. UNCERTAINTY ABOUT TROPICAL CYCLONE TRACKS AT THESE LEAD TIMES IS VERY HIGH COMPARED TO SHORTER-TERM OUTLOOKS, SO ONLY SLIGHT SHIFTS IN THE OUTLOOK WERE INTRODUCED UNTIL A MORE CONSISTENT TRACK IS INDICATED IN THE MODELS.

TROUGHING OVER THE BERING SEA, RIDING OVER MOST OF ALASKA, AND ABOVE NORMAL SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURES NEAR WESTERN ALASKA FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE STATE. A PREDICTED TROUGH OVER THE WESTERN CONUS FAVORS A CONTINUATION OF BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FROM THE WEST COAST TO THE NORTHERN PLAINS AND SOUTHERN HIGH PLAINS. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FAVORED FROM THE GREAT PLAINS TO THE EAST COAST UNDER RIDGING ALOFT. MODELS DO DISAGREE OVER THE MIDWEST ON THE CERTAINTY OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES WITH THE GEFS DEPICTING COOLER, MORE PROGRESSIVE SOLUTIONS. BOTH GEFS AND EUROPEAN CENTER MODELS INDICATE ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES OVER THE SOUTHEAST, THOUGH THE EUROPEAN CENTER MODEL HAS MUCH HIGHER ODDS.

THE TROUGH OVER THE BERING SEA FAVORS ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR MUCH OF WESTERN ALASKA. TROUGHING OVER THE WESTERN CONUS, THOUGH PREDICTED TO BE WEAKER THAN DURING THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD, STILL FAVORS AN ACTIVE PATTERN FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA TO THE CENTRAL PLAINS, THOUGH SOME PROGRESSION TO THE PATTERN EXTENDS THE NORTHERN PORTIONS TO THE GREAT LAKES. BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED ALONG THE APPALACHIANS, FROM THE SOUTHEAST TO THE LOWER GREAT LAKES. WEAK TROUGHING OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC FAVORS ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR FLORIDA AND PORTIONS OF THE EAST COAST.

FORECAST CONFIDENCE FOR THE 8-14 DAY PERIOD IS: AVERAGE, 3 OUT OF 5, DUE TO  GOOD AGREEMENT AMONG THE TEMPERATURE TOOLS OFFSET BY UNCERTAINTY ABOUT THE POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF A TROPICAL CYCLONE ACROSS THE CARIBBEAN SEA AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK. 

THE NEXT SET OF LONG-LEAD MONTHLY AND SEASONAL OUTLOOKS WILL BE RELEASED ON  OCTOBER 20

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 ENSO events.

Analogs to the Outlook.

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 regularly 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.

Day

ENSO

Phase

PDO AMO

Other Comments

Oct 5, 1951 El Nino - +  
Sept 25, 1968 Neutral + (t) - Right before a Modoki Type II
Sept 17, 1987 El Nino + + Modoki Type I
Sept 30, 1990 Neutral + (t) -  
Sept 18, 1996 Neutral N N  
Sept 20 1996 Neutral N N  
Oct 5, 2008 Neutral - +  
Oct 6, 2008 Neutral - +  
Sept 16, 2009 El Nino + + Modoki Type II
Sept 18, 2009 El Nino + + Modoki Type II

(t) = a month where the Ocean Cycle Index has just changed or does change the following month.

One thing that jumped out at me right away was the spread among the analogs from September 16 to October 6 which is one day less than three weeks which is a fairly small spread. I have not calculated the centroid of this distribution which would be the better way to look at things but the midpoint, which is a lot easier to calculate, is about September 26. These analogs are centered on 3 days and 4 days ago (September 22 or 23). So the analogs could be considered fairly in sync with the calendar meaning that we will be getting weather that normally would occur this time of the year or a few days later including that forecast trough which is typical this time of the year.

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 four El Nino Analogs (why are there any?), zero La Nina Analogs (why are there none?), and six ENSO Neutral Analogs. The phases of the ocean cycles in the analogs point towards McCabe Conditions "C" and" D". They are opposites and the forecasts is more in line with McCabe Condition "D". So again it is confusing. 

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.

Recent CONUS Weather

This is provided mainly to see the pattern in the weather that has occurred in recent months. Because it is now almost the end of September, I have now removed the June and June - April - May - June 90 Day Graphics. They are available in Part II of this Report - If you click to go there and take a look, hit your "Return Key" to return to this article. 

Let's look at the temperature and precipitation anomalies for the 30 days ending July 30, 2016

August 1, 2016 30 Day temperature and precipitation departures.

And now we looking at August. Here are the 30 Days ending September 3.

September 3, 2016 30 Day temperature and precipitation departures.

In August we saw the dry West anomaly expand to the north and Texas become wet with that wet anomaly extending northeast to the Great Lakes. The warm southwest was no long anomalously warm and the eastern third of the U.S. became very warm.

September 17, 2016 30 Day temperature and precipitation departures.

The pattern is a bit muted from last week. Remember that new 30 day period  only differs from the prior 30 day graphic by the addition of seven days and removing the first seven days of the prior 30 day average.

And the 30 Days ending September 24, 2016

September 24, 2016 30 Day temperature and precipitation departures.

You see a lot of moderation in the precipitation but the Eastern warm anomaly is actually stronger. The precipitation anomaly is strange as it shows NM as about even when our NWS reports the past month as having been unusually wet. What everyone agrees on is that California has been dry and looks to stay dry.

NOAA updated their Seasonal Outlook on September 15. We reported on that on Sunday Sept 18. You can read that report here. If  you opt to go read my Report on NOAA's Seasonal Outlook Update, please return from there to read this report which you can do by following the instructions at the end of that report or simply hitting your return button.

B. Beyond Alaska and CONUS Let's Look at the World which of Course also Includes Alaska and CONUS

World Weather Forecast produced by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Unfortunately I do not know how to extract the map and the control panel for you to see, but if you visit it Click Here you will be able to view temperature or many other things for THE WORLD. It can forecast out for a week. Pretty cool. 

I can not display the interactive control board but I can display any of the graphics it provides so below are the current worldwide precipitation and temperature forecasts for three days out. They will auto-update and be current for three days out whenever you view them. If you want the forecast for a different day Click Here

Precipitation

BOM World Preciptation  Wednesday

Temperature

BOM Current Temperature Wedensday

But I know how to display the precipitation only forecast from Queensland Australia and here it is.

Queensland Sept - Nov Preipitation Forecast.

It is kind of amazing that you can make a worldwide forecast based on just one parameter the SOI and changes in the SOI.

JAMSTEC has issued their Precipitation Forecast

JAMSTEC Precipitation Forecast from September 1, 2016 ENSO Model Run

Recognizing that we are now at September 26 and this forecast is based on September 1 Model Runs, it is still pretty interesting especially for Northern South America, Eastern Asia and Africa, the Maritime Continent and the Mediterranean.

Just to be complete I will show their temperature forecast

JAMSTEC SON Temperature Forecast based on September 1, 2016 Model Runs.

The UK will be cool, and maybe Venezuela, and Eastern Siberia will be good for snowshoeing. Then there is northern Argentina. and Uruguay. Other than that, Global Warming Deniers might have to seek higher elevations.

Here is the discussion that does with it.

Recently Issued Forecast from Japan

Sep. 21, 2016

Prediction from 1st Sep., 2016

ENSO forecast:

The SINTEX-F model predicts a La Niña Modoki/weak La Niña state [Editor's Note: A La Nina State or Condition is not the same as a La Nina event because it takes a sufficient duration for a period of La Nina conditions to be declared to be a La Nina Event] will reach the peak in the boreal fall. Then, the tropical Pacific will return to a normal state by boreal spring. The model prediction is so far consistent with the observed evolution of the sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies.

Indian Ocean forecast:

The model has successfully predicted the negative IOD as observed in recent SST anomalies. The 2016 negative IOD will reach the peak in the boreal fall. It will bring a wetter-than-normal (drier-than-normal) condition over the eastern (western) side of the Indian Ocean; there is high possibility of floods in the region near Sumatra and Java. On the other hand, we warn dry conditions in East African countries.

Regional forecast:

In boreal fall, as a seasonally averaged view, most part of the globe will experience a warmer-than-normal condition, while some parts of northern Brazil will experience a colder-than-normal condition.

According to the seasonally averaged rainfall prediction, eastern China, Indo-China, East Africa, and parts of southern Africa might experience a drier condition during boreal fall, while most parts of Indonesia, northern South America (including Colombia, Ecuador, and northwestern Brazil), southern West Africa, and western Central Africa will experience a wetter-than-normal condition; this may be mostly due to the negative IOD and the weak La Niña. Because of those climate conditions, Australia will receive above normal rainfall during austral summer. Most part of Japan will experience above normal temperature and above normal precipitation in fall, particularly in the western part of Japan.

Our monthly predictions fluctuate much in mid- and high- latitudes. The forecast skills in those latitudes on regional scales are still limited; predictions in those regions should be used carefully.

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Departures from Normal for this Time of the Year i.e. Anomalies

My focus here is sea surface temperature anomalies as they are one of the two largest factors determining weather around the World.

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

Daily SST Anomaly

Remember this discussion is all about anomalies not absolute temperatures...so it is deviation from seasonal norms.
The waters off of Japan remain warm. South of Kamchatka Siberia the color on the graphic is intense but we see below in the four week analysis less intense. The Indian Ocean is now basically all cool. The southern coast of Australia is cool but the Southeast Coast is warm. Water northwest of Australia is warm. The waters south of Africa are warm to the west but a bit cool to the east.
The overall Northern Pacific looks to be PDO Positive (the horseshoe pattern with the cool anomaly inside the horseshoe shape there but not very prominent). The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (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 and then to +0.78 in June and then down to +0.18 for July and then recorded a negative value of -.66 for August and the July value was adjusted to +0.11. That would make the PDO now NEGATIVE. But it may record positive for September. The question remains about the PDO. Is it acting independently of the El Nino or is this the change from PDO- to PDO+ (until August) which would signal a multi-decadal change in the Pacific. I anticipated that the PDO would turn negative as the La Nina gained control and it has. But is that just temporary.  Here is the list of PDO values. The waters west of CONUS are now cool. This is not a good sign for a wet winter. Further north, the Gulf of Alaska is quite warm. The Pacific being warm north of 40N remains the most impressive feature of the overall pattern. Notice the water off of Baja California is no longer warm and that was not good news for Hurricane Paine.
The Black sea appears now to be only moderately warm. The Caspian sea is a bit warm. So is the Mediterranean..
The water directly west of South America is not showing much of a strong La Nina pattern even though El Nino is history. There is a narrow cool anomaly in the Pacific right along the Equator in the La Nina Measurement Area but it does not extend very far north or south of the Equator and appears to be fading. It has been gradually stretching west and appears to have crossed the Dateline. The connection to Ecuador is weak.  It is perhaps a La Nina pattern but too weak yet to qualify as an official La Nina and probably will remain borderline La Nina through the winter.  It may ultimately turn out to be a La Nina Modoki i.e. shifted to the west more than the typical La Nina but simply Neutral seems more likely. The water off the West Coast of Central America is warm.
The water off the East Coast of CONUS is warm covering a large area. Further north in the Atlantic east of Newfoundland the North Atlantic is warmer than normal. The cool anomaly further south again shows and seem to be enlarging. The cool anomaly off shore of Northwest Africa is now gone or just a bit warm. Hurricane formation may not be substantial as September ends except further south. The Gulf of Mexico is warm and the Caribbean is warm.  The waters north of Antarctica East of South America are uniformly colder than climatology and we again see the warm anomalies north of that pattern.
I have some additional commentary on this static analysis of the anomalies below where I examine the four-week change in these anomalies. The list of Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) values can be found here.
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. It is important to understand that and interpret my comments above in the context of anomalies not absolute temperatures.

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 shown in the above graphic. 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 week's version of the graphic to the prior week and report on the differences below.  

September 26, 2016 four week change in SST's use this

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 a continuation of the cooling in the Indian Ocean.  Of course, the Equator in the Pacific is controlling to a large extent. The changes there are minor but one can see some warming in the Eastern Pacific. The changes in the Northern Hemisphere Pacific above 30N are a stabilization of the warming in the Gulf of Alaska (no change) and the intensification of the warming at about 40N all across the Pacific but more intense to the west. There is cooling of the west coast of Africa south of the Equator. Remember we are talking about changes in the anomalies something like a second derivative so you have to refer to the graphic above this one to know if blue is cool or less warm and if red is warm or less cool.  

Look at the Western Pacific in Motion.`

Western Pacific Tropical Activity

The above graphic which I believe covers the area from the Dateline west to 100E and from the Equator north to 45N `normally shows the movement of tropical storms towards Asia in the lower latitudes (Trade Winds) and the return of storms towards CONUS in the mid-latitudes (Prevailing Westerlies). This is recent data in motion (last 24 hours) not a forecast. But it provides a pretty good idea of what is heading towards Southeast Asia and the Maritime Continent. It also shows what is headed back towards CONUS.Right now we see Typhoon Megi passing North of the Philippines on the way to Taiwan and then possibly Hong Kong.
The MJO has had significant impacts this prior winter during the development of the El Nino but the impact on October is not likely to be very noticeable other than alternatively accelerating and decelerating the development of the La Nina. The forecasts of the MJO are all over the place and not suggesting a strong Active or Inactive Phase of the MJO any time soon.

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 September 20. 2016 Version and looking at Week 2 of that forecast.
Tropical Hazards

Mostly for the period September 28, 2016 to October 4, 2016, I see in week two that it will be likely dry in the area of Panama. There will be a higher probability of wet for the Maritime Continent. Moderate confidence in tropical cyclones exists for part of the Philippines and the Lesser Antilles which means for the following week perhaps the Gulf of Mexico.
I publish late Monday and this graphic updates late Tuesday. I could go back into my article and update the above discussion but I think that readers can interpret this graphic on their own after it updates as the Legend is very easy to understand.

C. Progress of the Cool ENSO Event

A major driver of weather is Surface Ocean Temperatures. Evaporation only occurs from the Surface of Water. So we are very interested in the temperatures of water especially when these temperatures deviate from seasonal norms thus creating an anomaly. The geographical distribution of the anomalies is very important.
To a substantial extent, the temperature anomalies along the Equator have disproportionate impact on weather so we study them intensely and that is what the ENSO (El Nino - Southern Oscillation) cycle is all about
Subsurface water can be thought of as the future surface temperatures. They may have only indirect impacts on current weather but they have major impacts on future weather by changing the temperature of the water surface.
Winds and Convection (evaporation forming clouds) is weather and is a result of the Phases of ENSO and also a feedback loop that perpetuates the current Phase of ENSO or changes it. That is why we monitor winds and convection along or near the Equator especially the Equator in the Eastern Pacific. 

Starting with Surface Conditions.

TAO/TRITON GRAPHIC (a good way of viewing data related to the part of the Equator and the waters close to the Equator in the Eastern Pacific  where we monitor to determining the current phase of ENSO. It is probably not necessary to follow the discussion below, but here is a link to TAO/TRITON terminology.

I have deleted many of the TAO/TRITON graphics we looked at when we were watching El Nino develop and decline. But I saved this 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. Since most of my graphics auto-update,  in order to be able to view a prior version of a particular graphic, I "freeze it" by basically cut and paste to a graphics file and then embed that "frozen graphic" in my article.

January 19, 2016 Frozen TAU/TRITON Graphic

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

The above should be compared to the bottom part of the following graphic. Notice the pattern is remarkably similar. The difference is that in January, the anomaly was a warm anomaly stretching from 130W to 160W and now it is a cool anomaly. When it was a warm anomaly, it was a 3C anomaly in the center ring. Now the center ring is a -1C anomaly. So this is opposite to last winter but the intensity is a third or less of the situation last winter.

Current SST and wind anomalies

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

 

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. 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.

Comparing Now to May 23, 2016

Subareas of the Anomaly

Westward Extension Eastward Extension Degrees of Coverage

As of Today

May 23, 2016

As of Today

May 23 2016

As of 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*

165E

155E

Land

155W

100

50

50
0C or cooler Anomaly

175E

155W

LAND

Land

90

50

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

175W

145W

165W

Land

10

5

50
-1C or cooler Anomaly

LAND

140W

LAND

105W

0

0

35
-1.5C or cooler Anomaly

LAND

135W

LAND

120W

0

0

0

* There is a +0.5C anomaly near the Nino 3.4 Measurement Area between 130W and 120W both north and south of the Equator. It is not directly on the Equator. It could indicate the cool anomaly is at least temporarily splitting into two pieces.

If you just look on the Equator, there are 50 degrees of Longitude of Neutral to La Nina anomalies which is the maximum possible as the ONI Measurement Area is 50 degrees of Longitude wide and that also is the maximum possible since the ENSO Measurement Area only stretches for 50 degrees. There are 5 degrees of water anomalies cool enough to be a La Nina. Subtracting 5 degrees from the 50 degrees you end up with 45 degrees of ENSO Neutral and 5 degrees of water cool enough to qualify as La Nina i.e. temperature anomalies more negative than -0.5C. This is a big difference from last week but is probably temporary as the situation changes day to day. And there is zero water along the Equator in the ONI Measurement that is even -1C or less which would be cool enough to be a moderate La Nina when just looking at the Equator. But the ONI Measurement Area extends 5 degrees of Latitude North and South of the Equator so the above table is just a guide and a way of tracking the changes. Away from the Equator it is generally warmer when a La Nina is trying to get started. The water from 3N to 5N and from 3S to 5S had until recently remained relatively warm especially west of 150W. But now the warm area has shifted to being east of 130W. It is actually El Nino warm which is not saying we are having an El Nino just that the warm water is squeezing the cool event into Neutral.
If you look at the TAO/TRITON graphic and the table above,  it appears that this cool event is fading from east to west. Last week it did not impact the Nino 3.4 calculation very much but this week it has.If it shifts at all further to the west, the Nino 3.4 calculation will quickly rise substantially since part of the ONI measurement area will have less cool water intruding. That is why I describe this as a "Luke Cool" Event. We see this right now but it most likely is temporary at this point. .

I calculate the current value of the ONI index (really the value of NINO 3.4 as the ONI is not reported as a daily value) each week using a method that I have devised. To refine my calculation, I have divided the 170W to 120W Nino 3.4 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 September 26, in the afternoon working from the September 25 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 -0.3 -0.1
B. 160W to 150W -0.5 -0.1
C. 150W to 140W -0.8 +0.1
D. 140W to 130W -0.5 -0.0
E. 130W to 120W -0.0 +0.4
Total -1.9 +0.3
Total divided by five subregions i.e. the ONI (-1.9)/5 = -04 (+0.3)/5=+0.1
My estimate of the daily Nino 3.4 SST anomaly has risen to +0.1 which for sure is no longer a  La Nina value.  NOAA has reported the weekly ONI to be -0.4 which is a bit warmer than they reported last week and no longer is a La Nina value but is ENSO Neutral. But there is a big difference between -0.4 and +0.1.
Nino 4.0 is reported as being the same as last week at -0.2.  Nino 3 is being reported a bit warmer at -0.1 a very  small change.   Nino 1 + 2 which extends from the Equator south rather than being centered on the Equator is being reported a lot warmer at +0.8. El Nino is not measured in Nino 1 + 2 but +0.8 would be an El Nino value if found further west.  The NOAA report of  -0.4 breaks the string of  NOAA reports of weekly LA NINA values of Nino 3.4.  The Australian Bureau of Meteorology recently reported that their estimate of the value for NINO 3.4 for August was -0.4 and their month to date estimate for September is again -0.4. IT IS THE SAME OCEAN.  So it looks like people are getting on the same page but the NOAA estimates appear to be a tad lower i.e. more La Nina-ish than the others.  The differences are small re weather impacts but significant re how this event will be recorded.
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 table form but going back a couple of more years can be found here.  NINO 1+ 2 stubbornly remains positive and determines the weather of Ecuador and Peru.

September 26, 2016 Nino Readings

Sea Surface Temperature and Anomalies

It is the ocean surface that interacts with the atmosphere and causes convection and also the warming and cooling of the atmosphere. So we are interested in the actual ocean surface temperatures and the departure from seasonal normal temperatures which is called "departures" or "anomalies". Since warm water facilitates evaporation which results in cloud convection, the pattern of SST anomalies suggests how the weather pattern east of the anomalies will be different than normal.

September 26, 2016 Upper Ocean Heat Amoalies

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. This Hovmoeller provides a good way to visually see the evolution of this ENSO event.  I have decided to use the prettied-up version that comes out on Mondays rather that the version that autoupdates daily because the SST Departures on the Equator do not change rapidly and the prettied-up version is so much easier to read. You can see that the blue cool anomaly has not moved further west but the dark blue is no longer showing at the bottom which means current reading. You can see that the yellow ENSO Neutral water is creeping to the west a bit. There is even some yellow at around 130W in this graphic which is in the Nino 3.4 Measurement Area. I even see some at 170W. Remember the +5, -5 degree strip around the Equator that is being measured. So it is the surface but not just the Equator.

Let us look at the Subsurface Water Temperatures.

Equatorial Subsurface Analysis

We are now going to change the way we look at a three-dimensional view of the Equator and move from the surface view and an average of the subsurface heat content to a more detailed view from the surface down.

Current Sub-Surface Conditions.  Notice by the date of the graphic that the lag in getting this information posted so the current situation may be a bit different than shown. The date shown is the midpoint of a five-day period with that date as the center of the five-day period.

And now the pair of graphics that I regularly provide.

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. At different times and today in particular, I have discussed the difference between the actual values and the deviation of the actual values from what is defined as current climatology (which adjusts every ten years) and how both measures are useful but for different purposes.

The top graphic shows surface temperature anomalies. The coolest water at the surface shows up only in small non-connected areas.  Water of La Nina coolness but not very intense shows up along the Equator from 170W to the Coast of Ecuador. The -1C water shows most strongly between 170W and 145W. There is a gap between 145W and 120W (the eastern end of the Nino 3.4 Measurement Area) although that gap does not show up fully on the TAO/TRITON Graphic. The gap, if valid, suggests the possibility that this will evolve into a cool Modoki pattern. The eastern part of the cool water pool is increasingly unimpressive with actually some showings of warm water. Notice that there is very little water with a cool anomaly in excess of -2C. How is this cool event to be sustained?

The bottom half of the graphic (Absolute Values which highlights the Thermocline) is now more useful as we track the progress of this new Cool Event.

It shows the thermocline between warm and cool water. The 28C Isotherm is now located at 178W which is about the same as last week.This graphic does not show a 27.5C anomaly which might more precisely indicate where convection is likely to occur. The 27C isotherm remains at 170W so we do not have ideal conditions for significant convection along the Equator east of the Dateline which is a characteristic of a cool event. Notice the steepness of the 28C, 27C and 26C Isotherms. This is a real boundary between warmer water and cooler water. The 25C isotherm is again at about 140W where it then disappears from the surface and reappears at 135W. The 20C Isotherm has moved close to the surface but is not reaching the surface and has not changed in weeks. The amount of warm water just west of the Dateline is also not real impressive either but growing but staying fairly far east. It is clearly a transition state and all of this is important not just for tracking this cool event but thinking about when the next El Nino might be triggered. This graphic helps understand the logic behind some of the forecasts of the ONI. So it is still a battle going on with La Nina nudging ahead but not looking like it can sustain itself.  .

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

Although I did not fully discuss the Kelvin Waves earlier, now seems to be the best place to show the evolution of the subsurface temperatures which remains relevant. What we have is only the upwelling phase of the series of Kelvin waves last winter.

September 26, 2016 Subsurface Temperatures.

There is cool water from 170W to the coast of Ecuador. But the coolest water, however, is only reaching the surface from 168W to 145W which is about the same as last week and there is another area at 135W to 125W but it this week may not quite be reaching the surface. There is e gap in the coolest water between 145W and 135W and east of 125W essentially to LAND with some warm anomalies showing up at 115W, 100W and 85W which are outside of the Nino 3.4 Measurement Area but indicative of the shifting away from the coast of this cool subsurface water.The eastern part of the anomaly is not factored into the measurement of the ONI but it impacts weather in Ecuador and Peru. This cool event would appear to be self-limiting.

And now Let us look at the Atmosphere.

Low-Level Wind Anomalies near the Equator

Here are the low-level wind anomalies.

Low Level Wlind Anomalies

There is not a consistent pattern shown here. But there are westerly anomalies east of 170W. This slows the migration of the pattern to the west. It may be introducting warmer surface water to that area.

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

OLR Anomalies Along the Equator

In the above graphic, there is now convection just east of 120E and creeping to the East. And that appears to be the MJO.

And Now the Air Pressure which Shows up Mostly in an Index called the SOI.

This index provides an easy way to assess the location of and the relative strength of the Convection (Low Pressure) and the Subsidence (High Pressure) near the Equator. Experience shows that a comparison between Air Pressure at Tahiti and Darwin Australia is substantially correlated with the Precipitation Pattern of the entire World.. 

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
Sept 20 +15.57 +13.18 +6.53
Sept 21 +10.34 +13.06 +6.62
Sept 22  +7.31 +12.77 +6.56
Sept 23  +7.07 +12.59 +6.44
Sept 24  +8.56 +12.61 +6.43
Sept 25+18.78 +18.78 +12.62 +6.52
Sept 26 +23.77 +12.97 +6.69

The 30-day average, which is the most widely used measure, as of September 26 is reported at +12.97 which is about the same as last week and is definitely a La Nina level. The 90-day average at +6.69 is up slightly from last week and is now at a La Nina level. These may be the high water marks for the SOI re this cycle but I said that last week and the week before. 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 disparity between the two is one reason why we look at both. Different agencies use a different range to classify the SOI as being El Nino or La Nina. To some extent it is the change in the SOI that is of most importance.

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. September so far has not been particularly favorable for La Nina development and neither will be October in terms of the MJO. The MJO being Inactive is more favorable for La Nina than the MJO being Active. But the MJO goes back and forth from being Active, Inactive, strong and weak so in has mostly a short-term impact. Right now the impact is fairly muted. It tends to be more important when the situation is ENSO Neutral and the MJO can start the process of an El Nino getting started. It is less significant re the initiation of a La Nina but is a factor. It is surprising how weak the MJO has been for months.

Forecasting the Evolution of ENSO

The below is first the CPC/IRI (Early Month) forecast issued on September 8, 2016  followed by the (Late Month) forecast issued on September 15, 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.

First the Early September "Probabilistic Forecast which includes a large component of input from meteorologists as compared to the second forecast in the month which is more tied to model results without interpretation. It is not a big difference but it is a difference. I assume they do it this way as to avoid forcing meteorologists to have to run their computers twice a month (some sarcasm expressed there).

September 8, 2016 CPC/IRI Official Probabilistic Forecast.

Notice that with this release, the probabilities for La Nina have changed dramatically since the August 18 analysis with Neutral being the most likely Phase of ENSO and the next El Nino beginning to show up on the meteorologist's radar. 

And now we have the recently released mid-month model based report

September 15, 2016 IRI/CPC Model based ENSO forecast.

This is a lot more bullish on La Nina happening. Kind of a big change in a week. It is still pretty much a coin flip with the projected strength of this cool event being marginal for ruling in or out as being a La Nina Event.

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 gradually shifted to a weak La Nina Forecast and now to a marginal La Nina Forecast. Is the Mean of the forecast ensemble for the key periods NDJ and DJF below -0.5?  For a few weeks weeks it looked like it no longer seemed to be but now suddenly it does albeit barely. The mean of the model ensemble for the ONI in the NOAA model has turned higher (less La Nina-ish actually on the El Nino side of Neutral) for the Spring of the coming winter as you can see.  I doubt that this cool event will be recorded as a La Nina since it most likely will not meet the criteria for being classified as a La Nina. But I am not so sure of that his week. It is forecasted to be close enough that whether it officially is logged in as a La Nina or Neutral, probably has very little impact on the weather we will have. It is a cool event pattern but not at all extreme.

The full list of weekly values can be found here.

Forecasts from Other Meteorological Agencies.

Here is the report issued September 27 from the Australian BOM

Australia POAMA ENSO model run

And here is the discussion they released this evening.

While most models now indicate the tropical Pacific Ocean is unlikely to cool to typical La Niña thresholds, individual model runs (ensemble members) suggest that La Niña (or near-La Niña) in 2016 remains a possibility. In addition, some atmospheric indicators of La Niña have intensified in the last few weeks. Despite this, the negative phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole is likely to remain the dominant driver for the remainder of spring.

Impacts on Australian climate patterns can still be felt during marginal events, particularly when La Niña-like patterns of warm ocean temperatures around northern Australia are present, as is currently being observed.

A La Niña WATCH status means there is approximately a 50% chance of La Niña developing in 2016, which is about twice the normal likelihood.

We also have the most recent JAMSTEC September 1 ENSO forecast.

JAMSTEC September 1, 2016 Two Year Enso Forecast

The model shows ENSO Neutral for the next two years. The swings are a bit more intensified than in the prior model run. Indian Ocean IOD. The discussion was shown earlier as it contains a weather forecast.

Indian Ocean IOD

Not directly related is the IOD Forecast which also came out this evening.

IOD POAMA Model Run

The graphic comes with discussion, Here is that discussion:

The latest weekly IOD index value to 25 September is −0.9 °C. The negative IOD has re-intensified following a brief weakening during August. While this negative IOD event is likely to be the strongest such event in the observational record, model outlooks surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate a return to neutral values by the end of spring - consistent with the typical IOD event lifecycle. During the spring months, a negative IOD typically enhances rainfall over eastern Australia. For more information on the establishment of the negative IOD in 2016,

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

D. Putting it all Together.

Last winter's El Nino has officially ended in terms of currently satisfying the criteria. We are now speculating on the winter of 2016/2017 which now according to some of the models seems likely to be a La Nina or Neutral with a La Nina bias. But Australia and Japan do not see it that way and are not calling for a La Nina at this point in time. So NOAA is a bit the Odd Man Out but it is mostly a question of degree and in the end NOAA may turn out to have correct.  NOAA is calling for a borderline La Nina and the others are forecasting a La Nina-ish event that does not quite meet the criteria for being labeled a La Nina and does not last long enough to meet the criteria.

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 looks like it will require one more La Nina or ENSO Neutral event and this appears to be the way this might unfold. 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 but perhaps as few as zero as in we may have seen the PDO change phase with this recent El Nino. .

E. Relevant Recent Articles and Reports

Weather in the News

Nothing to report

Weather Research in the News

Nothing to report

Global Warming in the News

Nothing to report.

F. TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PAGE II OF THIS REPORT WHICH PROVIDES A LOT OF BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON WEATHER AND CLIMATE SCIENCE  

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.

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.

4. Computer Models and Methodologies

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

G. TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PAGE 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.

1. Introduction

2. Climate Impacts of Global Warming

3. Economic Impacts of Global Warming

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

Useful Background Information

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          

 

ONI Recent History

ONI History Updated on September 5, 2016

The official reading for Jun/Jul/Aug is now reported as -0.3. As you can see this recent El Nino peaked in NDJ and has now ended 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 JJA is not a La Nina Value. So there would need for there to be five periods of -0.5 or colder starting with JAS. It is not even clear that JAS will record as -0.5 or less. So the chances of this event being an official La Nina are very low.

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

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

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