The 2009 “super El Nino” predicted by some may be a “fizzle” according reports attributed to NASA JPL’s Climatologist Bill Patzert. I wonder who he might be referring to when he says “eroding the credibility”? Hansen’s prediction perhaps?
Excerpts from three different articles below:
This year’s El Nino expected to be mild
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) — This year’s El Nino would be mild, resembling the pattern of 2006 and 2007, weather experts said in remarks published on Sunday.
The oscillation of hot water in the eastern Pacific Ocean is going to be a let-down, in terms of precipitation over a parched California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) researcher Bill Patzert told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“This El Nino is definitely puny,” Patzert said , adding that this year’s pattern resembles the mild El Nino of 2006-2007, which left California’s snowpack and reservoirs short of what water experts had coveted: an end to five years of drought.
Although the jet stream pattern still shows that California might get a wet winter, the likelihood of floods and massive rains is diminishing, the paper quoted climatologists as saying.
“We’re planning for a dry 2010,” said Elissa Lynn, senior meteorologist for the state Department of Water resources, in an interview with the paper.
El Nino is the name given to a change in Pacific currents that moves the jet stream and storm track from their normal vectors. Strong El Ninos can see Southern California’s coastal plains get triple the normal 10-12 inches of annual rainfall.
This year’s El Nino appeared to be off to a strong start, but has fizzled.
Patzert said it’s time to find a new name for mild El El Niño, so that the public is not confused.
“You have to reserve the name ‘El Niño’ for the real big events that only happen every 12 to 14 years,” he said.
“It’s actually eroding the credibility of long-range forecasters and climatologists.”
From the SD Union Tribune article:
Forecasters have struggled to assess this year’s El Niño, he said. Initially, one report suggested it would become the second-strongest episode on record. Now, some say El Niño has peaked and is already fading.
The atmosphere is not behaving as weather models predicted in the early summer, said Mike McPhaden, a senior scientist at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. El Niño has “developed in fits and starts,” he said.
Patzert said weak and moderate El Niños shouldn’t even be labeled El Niños.
“You have to reserve the name ‘El Niño’ for the real big events that only happen every 12 to 14 years,” he said. “It’s actually eroding the credibility of long-range forecasters and climatologists.”
Bill Patzert, a climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who studies El Niño and advises CPC, says in an email, “There is considerable uncertainty among scientists as to whether this event will have the staying power to deliver the dramatic impacts that were seen during the last intense El Niño episode, which happened in 1997-1998.”
Recent satellite images show that the distinct signature of El Niño that appears directly along the equator has faded, and that the system may have slipped into neutral status.
“At this time, it is a long shot for this El Nino to expand and intensify into the fall and elevate the present weak to moderate El Niño episode to a stronger event,” Patzert says. “For comparison, the August 21, 1997, TOPEX/Poseidon image of the macho 1997-1998 El Niño is included here. In size and intensity it dwarfs the present conditions.”