Scroll To Top

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

El Niño on Alert: at least 70% chance in 2015

Sou | 6:00 PM Go to the first of 26 comments. Add a comment



From the Australian Bureau of Meteorology




The chances of El Niño occurring in 2015 have increased. Ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific continue to be warmer than average, trade winds remain weaker than average, and all models surveyed suggest further ocean warming will occur. As a result, the ENSO Tracker has been raised to El Niño ALERT, indicating at least a 70% chance of El Niño occurring this year.

Tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures are now just shy of El Niño levels. Large areas of warmer-than-average water below the surface are likely to keep these waters warm for some time. This increases the odds of atmospheric factors coming into play, and hence further warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean.

All international climate models monitored by the Bureau indicate that El Niño thresholds will be reached or exceeded by June. However, the accuracy of model outlooks during the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) transition period is lower than for outlooks made at other times of the year.

Read the full report: BoM 14 April 2015 - the pdf is here for reference. (I've updated the sidebar.)


Related from HotWhopper


26 comments :

  1. Otherwise known as: a 70% chance of our friends across the aisle remembering the power of internal variability.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wonder what will replace the RSS 18 year thing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Brandon spotted it : internal variability. The El Nino is causing a pause in The Pause, doncha know. Normal pausation will soon be resumed, oh yes, just you see if it ain't. Algore algore benghazi!

      Delete
    2. Heh. A pause pause. It all makes sense.
      I saw a lecture a while ago where Richard Alley was talking about the 'escalator'. He suggested they'd just need to shut up for a bit, I suppose that's beyond them.

      Delete
    3. It's when the pause goes paws up. Like a dead animal. The cause of the pause is completely dead. The pause itself is like General Franco. It's mostly dead, but there are rumors it's not completely dead.

      Delete
    4. What pause?

      The decline resumes after the next extreme heat record - indisputable fact*.



      (*Product may vary from illustration on the packaging, and an understanding of internal variability must be assembled by the purchaser...)

      Delete
    5. I am going to be watching RSS and UAH very carefully. If another El Nino spikes mucks up the deniers 18 year paws meme, I will be sure to let them know about it.

      I found out the other day the RSS and UAH stratospheric measurements are also sensitive to effects from volcanic eruptions - not a good idea to forget about the volcano wildcard, we are overdue for a big one, roughly speaking.

      Delete
    6. Cugel,

      The Pause is paused ... simply brilliant.

      Delete
  3. NOAA called El Niño on March 5th, FWIW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dhogaza. I know that BoM and NOAA use different measures. I think Japan called it, too - or almost did. It was hard to tell.

      If there was an El Niño, then it was a strange one. West coast USA still in major drought, and where I am (where it's supposed to be dry) was reasonably wet and not especially hot.

      BoM hasn't called one yet - not last year and not this year.

      Delete
    2. Much of California gets rain only in winter (basically Oct-Mar, with the peak in Feb, IIRC), regardless of ENSO status.

      They got downpours in December, but nothing else. So ENSO-related flooding will now wait another 6 months or more.

      Delete
    3. Also rainfall in the PNW was pretty close to normal, but it fell as rain and not as snow. Also, IMHO, El Nino is not a guarantee of heavy rainfall in CA, only the strongest ones seem to provide heavy rains across the state. With weaker ones rainfall tends to be confined to a line north of roughly SF - Tahoe.

      Delete
    4. Right, El Niño doesn't necessarily cause heavy rainfall in CA. I think numerobis (timing) and rattus (strength of El Niño) are probably right in combination.

      After December's strong rain, we (in Monterey) had almost no rain (including a rainless month) until a couple of weeks ago when we had some decent rain for a day or two. It's back to sunshine again.

      Currently we're in a N/NW wind pattern, without westerlies blowing over the warmer water we won't be seeing rain, IMO. However, I just moved here a few months ago and am still learning the weather patterns which are quite different than those my long-term home of Portland OR

      Delete
    5. I lived in Santa Cruz for 20 years and am fairly familiar with what goes on there. Fog in the morning, sun in the afternoon, winds are normally from the W-NNW (about 280-290). Normally there is no rain between about now and October or so, although a moist flow from the SW may bring a thunderstorm or two late in the summer. In the winter the arrival of a storm is heralded by increasing clouds and a shift of the wind to the south. Mostly it is 75 and sunny, day, after day, after day. The weather sucks. :-)

      Delete
  4. It will be interesting to watch the tussle between the El Nino to the east, and the exceptionally warm Indian Ocean to the west. I think the BOM are suggesting the Indian Ocean will win during the Australian winter.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sort of OT, but perhaps not in the context of El Niño... the GISTEMP anomaly for March has just been published. At 84, it is the 3rd coldest March on record.

    This year, BTW, is tracking at almost .2 deg C above last year (79 vs 60.3) for the first 3 months:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    That's a pretty big increase, seeing as last year was the hottest on record. Shows what even a weak El Niño can do to bring the underlying anthropogenic forcings to the fore :-\

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doh. 3rd warmest, not coldest, of course.

      Delete
    2. Imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth if it comes in that warm though. It will be hilarious! Not good for the rest of us, but it will be funny to watch the reaction.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. not only 3rd warmest March, but the 5th warmest of any month recorded (since 1880) with a +0.84ºC anomaly

      Delete
  6. I warned people last year about calling an El Niño. I would suggest caution now as well.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As someone who has watched water boil too many times to recount I think we are in a new paradigm/tipping point/whateveryoucallitoscillation. the shear amount of heat now in the Pacific ready too emerge in ways we cannot predict is quite different to the old El Nino/La Nina. Godzilla comes to mind! Bert

    ReplyDelete
  8. My first boss at CSIRO had this elaborate double distillation setup to produce ion free water for Electron Microscopy. The whole thing was made of Pyrex glass. The water to be purified only came into contact with Pyrex glass.
    It was tricky to get going as you needed output from the first stage to have as a raw feed for stage two.
    To run this elaborate machine needed constant vigilance. It was my job to watch this thing and adjust all the heating and water cooling flows to try to reach some sort of constant output flow.
    After many years of doing this I realized that there was no fixed setting for any of the parameters.
    A tiny variation in ambient temperature and cooling water flow rates in the condensers would change everything.
    I spent many happy hours trying to drive this chaotic system.
    The aim of course was that when preparing EM grids with protein molecules and/or crystals no rogue salts/ions would collect on the molecules under study.
    Yes I know my sanity has been compromised! Bert

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bert,

      My job was developing the films and making the prints. The lab supervisor did the screens. I don't think she made her own deionized water, but I was firmly convinced I had the more rewarding -- and easier -- task.

      I spent many happy hours trying to drive this chaotic system.

      Shades of my father's root-beer making rig the next building over -- he bubbled CO2 from expired tanks through a pressure cooker and brought the stuff home in bottles labelled "DANGER Glacial Acetic Acid POISON". The uninitiated to the Gates household gave us the strangest looks whenever we offered them a mugful of the stuff with their popcorn.

      Delete
  9. By the way does anyone know the PH of pure water just after it has been distilled twice? It is about PH 5 due to atmospheric CO2! There is no buffering in pure water.
    Bert

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bert, it's the same with rain - but carbonic acid is a weaker acid than sulphuric, so the term "acid rain" is still better applied to the sulphate version...

      Degassing will remove some (or most) of the CO2 from distilled water, but left for long enough in an open system some of it finds its way back... :-)

      Delete

Instead of commenting as "Anonymous", please comment using "Name/URL" and your name, initials or pseudonym or whatever. You can leave the "URL" box blank. This isn't mandatory. You can also sign in using your Google ID, Wordpress ID etc as indicated. NOTE: Some Wordpress users are having trouble signing in. If that's you, try signing in using Name/URL or OpenID. Details here.

Click here to read the HotWhopper comment policy.