Australia's BoM declares La Niña in the Pacfic

From the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) see the SOI below, now firmly in positive territory like in 2008. An animation of SST from the Navy follows.

Pacific Ocean in early stages of a La Niña event

Issued on Wednesday 21 July 2010 | Product Code IDCKGEWWOO

Tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures continued to cool over the past fortnight, and are now approaching levels typical of a La Niña. Similarly, other ENSO indicators are also at or exceeding La Niña thresholds. As computer models predict the central Pacific will continue to cool over the coming months, it is now highly likely that the Pacific is in the early stages of a La Niña event, and that 2010 will be considered a La Niña year.

Signs of an emerging La Niña event have been apparent in the equatorial Pacific for several months. Pacific Ocean temperatures have cooled steadily throughout the year and are now more than 1°C cooler than average in some areas on the equator. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has increased in value and is currently around +14, trade winds continue to be stronger than average and cloudiness has remained suppressed over the central Pacific. All of these key indicators are at levels typical of the early stages of a La Niña event.

La Niña periods are usually, but not always, associated with above normal rainfall during the second half of the year across large parts of Australia, most notably eastern and northern regions. Night time temperatures are typically warmer than average and Tropical Cyclone risk for northern Australia increases during the cyclone season (November-April).


Here is the U.S. Navy animation of SST’s (patience while it loads). Note the cool blue on the right off the SA coast. Temperature scale in °C.

h/t’s to WUWT readers Geoff Sharp and Amino Acids in Meteorites

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July 21, 2010 5:15 am

I feel that Bastardi is right!

July 21, 2010 5:15 am

and the Daily Telegraph (both in print and online: reports NOAA & NCDC quoting “hottest year ever” until of course the end of the year when it won’t be.
I used to think the Daily Torygraph was beyond this kind of nonsense. What is the world coming to?

July 21, 2010 5:29 am

We live near the Western coast of Panama, just left of the southernmost bump at the far right of the Navy animation. A deep sea fisherman friend who goes out two or three times a week to 20-30 miles offshore reports that in the last month SST has dropped from 29 C to 26 C, which seems to provide empirical support for the process. The type of fish he catches and their behavior has also changed.

Charles Wilson
July 21, 2010 5:34 am

TIME TO DIE … well, possibly: I give an Ocean current shutdown >> giving 300 mph winds ~10%.
Bu t a Melt-off is near 100 0%. El Nino Waters are still flowing from the Pacific many months ago, on a near 20,000 mile trip to the Arctic via the North Atlantic (see DMI’s SST but you have to change the upper box from temperature to Anomaly — that is : the CHANGE in temperature from normal – – ).
So we can get BOTH: El Nino water & La Nina SUN.
For nearly a Year Wayne Davidson predicted Open sailing at the Pole by Mid-August.
Guess the most experienced Arctic Meteorologist — at Resolute for 25 years — was right. His website:
My Sea Ice Outlook: (from Before I found his site):
PS: I’m not an AGW alarmist – – I’m an anti-green Alarmist: soot from the Phony “Greens” in Europe is melting it off more from the European side than ever before. Still, it is WAY behind time to Easily overrun temps due to sunlight, & it is more likely than not the Polar Water won’t reach 50 degrees F. SUN per Latitude — note the POLE is hottest for a month or 2 !

July 21, 2010 5:39 am

The one thing that rarely gets mentioned is the effect of El Nino/La Nina on sea levels.
The fact that it can cause +/- 25cms or so changes in sea levels on opposite sides of the Pacific rather puts the current alarm over 2cms per decade into perspective.

July 21, 2010 5:53 am
July 21, 2010 5:54 am

Charles Wilson says:
July 21, 2010 at 5:34 am
“[…]PS: I’m not an AGW alarmist – – I’m an anti-green Alarmist: soot from the Phony “Greens” in Europe is melting it off more from the European side than ever before.[…]”
There is no increase in soot emissions in Europe.

amicus curiae
July 21, 2010 6:17 am

A Mentor of mine, a wise man, an apiarist, forecast this 2 years ago!
in spite of non spectacular rains last year, the trees have boomed, tree rings on one cut recently are considerably larger than preceeding decades, barks are splitting vertically with the speed of growth. Native flora is doing well, so are Australias bees, well my friends are anyway. the cold nights havent helped but theres food around for them.

July 21, 2010 6:18 am

That cold blue spot off the SA cost is the major source of CO2 in the atmosphere. It is where neutriant rich frigid water upwells. That water is essentially saturated with carbonates and CO2. As the surface currents take it from East to West along the equator, it is warmed by the sun by as much as 10 degrees C. The solubilities of CO2 and calcium carbonates decrease drastically with increasing temperature. The CO2 will outgass to the atmosphere while the carbonates will precipitate out and gravitate to the ocean floor. The animation dramatically shows that the concept of a global dynamic equilibrium is an assumption that has misslead AGW researchers.

July 21, 2010 6:21 am

Charles Wilson –Well, thank you for explaining your rationale at length. See you in September.

July 21, 2010 6:21 am

Charles Wilson says:
July 21, 2010 at 5:34 am
“…So we can get BOTH: El Nino water & La Nina SUN…”
If only it were that simple!
There are multiple climatic patters which effect the state of the Arctic sea ice, for example (El Nino, La Nina, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and other synoptic patterns that affect storm tracks and the behavior of the Jet Stream, e.t.c.). The various forced oscillations produced by these myriad related processes, means that the levels of sea ice are controlled by deterministic chaos rather than linear events.
This is what confounds the best Arctic meteorologists in the world, as evidenced by last years failed forecasts for sea ice levels. The best thing to do is just sit back and enjoy watching what happens as our quiet sun pushes into a cooler weather regimen. Those who understand how black swan events can effect them are preparing for the cold!

Charles Wilson
July 21, 2010 6:25 am

PS for DMI above, guess you have to click the Arctic: center of the map at the bottom left, too.
For Whole Earth Change-from-Normal Sea temps:
BIG ICE NEWS: Piomas is up a tick, reflecting the Cloudy first half of July – – but that shows an Anomaly = 2500 km3 below the 2007 minimum, implying about half the VOLUME of Ice lost relative to 2007 (though ICESAT measured 2007 as even less than Piomas did — due to a lack of measurements in the central Arctic — P.”assimilates” REAL measurements like Airplane Lasers so it identically matched ICESAT EXCEPT the few months when the Central Arctic melted some, in 2007 … that implies about a 1-3rd reduction: not half … so far — the recent Clearing Skies came after its date of the 17th )

Steve Keohane
July 21, 2010 6:37 am

Found this line interesting: The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has increased in value and is currently around +14, trade winds continue to be stronger than average and cloudiness has remained suppressed over the central Pacific. WRT the arctic all we hear about is the sun on the water, even at the acute angle that far north, warming the water.

July 21, 2010 6:58 am

Last week…
…I posted that all four NINO indices were well into La Niña ranges. It will probably be another month and a half before NOAA calls it official La Niña. In their most recent weekly update, the CPC has stated, “The onset of La Niña conditions is likely during July-August 2010.” Scroll down to the last page here for the soutce of the quote:

July 21, 2010 7:06 am

Steve Keohane says: “Found this line interesting: The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has increased in value and is currently around +14, trade winds continue to be stronger than average and cloudiness has remained suppressed over the central Pacific.”
The reduction in cloudiness during a La Niña is how the tropical Pacific recharges the heat discharged during the prior El Niño.

Amino Acids in Meteorites
July 21, 2010 7:11 am

h/t for the Navy equator animation goes originally to Bill Illis. He posted it a few months ago. I’ve kept track of it.

July 21, 2010 7:12 am

Stuart says: “The one thing that rarely gets mentioned is the effect of El Nino/La Nina on sea levels.”
I wrote two posts about the ENSO impact on sea level last fall. Refer to:

Bill Illis
July 21, 2010 7:38 am

Its going to take several months for this La Nina to really get going.
There is still a lot of warmer than average ocean water on the northern side of the Equator which extends below the surface at some locations. The warmer water is moving west with the traditional La Nina east-west current and being circulated in eddies with the colder La Nina water, sometimes surfacing and sometimes being pushed down to levels below the surface. It is going to take time to cool this water off and push it further west.
There is a question whether there is enough cool La Nina water to make this a big La Nina. There is also a question of how much the very cold Peru-Humbolt current will participate as well.
The US Navy website also has a 30 day forecast similar to the animation in the post.

Amino Acids in Meteorites
July 21, 2010 7:49 am

The sun and SOI: it is evident there is a relation.

Scott B
July 21, 2010 7:59 am

Charles Wilson says:
July 21, 2010 at 6:25 am
This is more of a general question. I’ve been wondering if an anomoly chart is really all that helpful for showing trends in arctic sea ice?
It was my understanding that anomoly charts are used in temp. because you can compare varying temps with varying locations over time without having to worry about the problems of averaging those temps together. With arctic sea-ice, are there similar concerns about averaging that need to be mitigated? It seems to me you’re just measuring the area or volume of ice over time. Why not just show the total area measured?

Bill Illis
July 21, 2010 8:06 am

I should note that the other drivers like the Trade Winds, Atmospheric Angular Momentum, Ocean Current strength, OLR and the SOI are all in the territory pointing to continued strenthening of the La Nina.
The GFS forecast is for a significant increase in the Trade Winds on the western side of the Nino regions starting now.

July 21, 2010 8:07 am

Hey marco says:
July 21, 2010 at 5:29 am
Exactly how are the fish behaving different, or is your friend just catching different fish?

July 21, 2010 8:10 am

I like girls.

July 21, 2010 8:31 am

Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
July 21, 2010 at 7:49 am
The sun and SOI: it is evident there is a relation.

That graph looks to be over a short time frame, I suspect it may look very different over the entire cycle.

July 21, 2010 8:33 am

This comment from the Australian BOM regarding the sub surface temperatures is telling.
“The map for the 5 days ending 19 July shows a large volume of cooler than normal water evident below the surface of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The sub-surface of the ocean is more than 4°C cooler than normal for this time of year in the central Pacific. When compared with two weeks ago, the central Pacific has cooled.”

F. Ross
July 21, 2010 9:05 am

Charles Wilson says:
July 21, 2010 at 5:34 am
… the CHANGE in temperature from normal

What exactly would the “normal” temperature be?

July 21, 2010 9:07 am

Bill Illis says: “There is still a lot of warmer than average ocean water on the northern side of the Equator which extends below the surface at some locations. ”
Do you have a link to the data or visuals of this? Based on the location you described, it sounds like a Rossby wave.

July 21, 2010 9:23 am

Bill Illis: As Emily Litella used to say, “Never mind.”
The Rossby wave that heralded the start of the La Nina happened months ago. It’s visible in the following animation, as are the lingering pockets of warm water you described:

Bill Illis
July 21, 2010 9:29 am

Bob Tisdale: I’m using lots of different sources for this since there are some differences between sources.
But here is a good site which allows one to actually use the data from the TAO/Triton bouys for different cross-sectional depths.
For example, there is quite a bit of warmer than average water below the surface at 110W pushing in (or being pulled in) from the North. This is an important depth for the ENSO as it eventually circulates up to the surface and enters the surface circulation to the West.

Doug Proctor
July 21, 2010 9:40 am
SST and anomalies: I am confused about the “reality” of the anomalies. The west side of Greenland shows an SST of 5-7*C, while the anomaly is 4-5*, presumably meaning that the “normal” SST at July 10 is 1 – 2*C. That is the temperature associated with the edge of melting ice, as seen in various images. So western Greenland is not melting directly into the ocean, where the glacial ice has to be at 0*C, but its inland glaciers are giving of huge volumes of +10*C water to the sea – such a warmth is necessary to get the mixture up by 4-5*C.
What would the world SST look like if the government “anomaly” maps were subtracted from the government SST maps? Would we see bizarre things? The anomalies are mathematical creations, whereas the SSTs are hard data. Would the “normal” SST look, in fact, normal? Would it make sense?
I’m still trying to figure out what a global 0.7*C temperature rise means. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a global “normal” temperature map and a global anomaly map that, added up, gives 0.7*C as a global rise. That would show where the rise is from, but still wouldn’t say which season/month/day/night created it. Has anyone got these maps?
Anyone have a link to such a thing?

July 21, 2010 9:56 am

“Why not just show the total area measured?”
Regarding sea ice.
Probably because if you did that, the differences would look tiny, just like with temperatures.

Earle Williams
July 21, 2010 11:34 am

One ‘feature’ of the anomaly presentation is that is removes seasonal variations. Some would cal that a bug, not a feature.

Paul Vaughan
July 21, 2010 5:25 pm

It has been absolutely crystal clear La Nina for 2.5 solid months now.

Charles Wilson
July 21, 2010 11:58 pm

Re PIOMAS & Scott B:
— Surprise ! Piomas “corrected” June 18 to 11,300 (much as JAXA often corrects the previous day, see below)
– – so forget my Piomas figures above.
Piomas Anomaly fell from what we Thought it read in June, that is: 10,700 … to 10,600 km3
— Scott – – When I see Piomas, I see an “inconvenient Anomaly” as I WANT the REAL Ice Volume when I cite PIOMAS – – so I superimposed their Current Chart on their Comparison Chart with Icesat (you have to scale it @89%), Result
Their -14,200 = ZERO ICE LEFT (but at the September Minimum).
So -10,600 = 3,600 left, >>ASSUMING<< an average Melt from now on.
For comparison ICESAT's minimum reading was 6,000 km3 (Actual, not Anomaly) in November 2007, which I make = a 5,050 km3 SEPTEMBER Minimum, by subtracting Piomas's Sept-November gains from 6,000. Icesat was an EXACT Measure. Piomas "assimilates" SOME exact measures and Usually it spot-on equals the Laser Measurements … BUT as there are (usually) no measurements in the Central area, so the one time — 2007 — there was melt near the Pole – – it got pretty far off – – 7300 in November = 1300 km3 High. Thus the apparent "Drop" to 2009 – – if one corrects the 2007 Piomas reading, Volume gained 15% from 5050 in Sept. 2007, to 5800 in 2009.
Thanx for bugging me into Checking.
Daily: ___________2007_________2010__ ( JAXA Ice Extent data)
July18-19 ______ – 63,907 _____ – 108,906……..was 100K prelim.
July19-20 ______ – 92,187 _____ – 109,213…….was 131,719preliminary
July20-21 ______ – 103,438 _____ – 60,156 million km2
Behind 2007 by 429,532, ahead of 2009 by 253,437, ahead of 2006 by 148,593
PS: Re Doug Proctor: MANY more options at this Sea-temp site including "Change in Anomaly" (change squared ?).
PPS F. Ross: “normal” varies with EVERY Chart. Usually they say, e.g. “1979-2000 mean” , but Piomas uses 1979-2009. User Beware !

Chris Wright
July 22, 2010 3:19 am

@ AleaJactaEst
Actually, the Daily Telegraph (but not the Sunday Telegraph) has been pro-AGW for some years, with very biased and one-sided reporting. However, since Climategate their reporting became more balanced. But now they seem to be reverting to type, reporting endless ‘everything is caused by climate change’ nonsense without mentioning the other side of the story.
Yesterday I emailed them about the NOAA report, but they won’t print it. I’ve appended it below.
Email to Daily Telegraph:
It’s sad to see the NOAA abandoning science for propaganda.
NOAA know that the recent warming is caused by a very strong el
Nino, which is now receding. They know that global temperatures are
likely to fall sharply in the second half of the year. Otherwise, why
make claims about a record year when there are still five months to
go? The NOAA temperature map is badly flawed. Many points
showing high temperatures cover areas where no surface temperature
data is actually available. For many points that do have data that can
be checked, the warming shown on the map is much larger than the
actual data. The phrase ‘hiding the decline’ comes to mind. In a
Climategate email a senior climate scientist bemoans the fact that
they can’t explain the lack of global warming.
Since July 1st the Arctic ice has recovered significantly, though it’s
still low compared to 30 years ago. The graph looks like ice extent
has reached a minimum and will probably recover over coming years,
just as it did after a similar minimum in the 1920’s. Arctic
temperatures are currently about two degrees below normal.
Antarctic ice extent has been steadily increasing over the last few
decades, so that the global average has been remarkably stable for
many years.
When you take the trouble to actually look at the data, a completely
different picture emerges. Despite all the global warming hysteria
and propaganda, the world is actually in pretty good shape. The world
is producing more food per head than ever before, the global average
life span is still increasing and the overall intensity of hurricanes has
been steadily falling over recent decades. Ironically, the hurricane
data that shows this decline comes from the NOAA itself.

July 22, 2010 5:46 am

Ref – Chris Wright says:
July 22, 2010 at 3:19 am
Sometimes a few well chosen words can move mountains, more frequently you need a shovel and a lot of free time. Usually, none of us will ever live long enough to move a mountain with a shovel. I doubt there are enough like you, who really care, willing to pester the Daily Telegraph into correcting their errors before they go the way of all folly. Oh well! I guess it was just meant to be this way. Nice try.

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