ENSO report and forecast

 

Summary:

La Niña conditions continued across the equatorial Pacific.

The magnitude of negative sea surface temperature anomalies continued to decrease across the Pacific Ocean.

A transition to ENSO-neutral conditions is expected by June 2011.

clickable global map of SST anomalies

Ensemble forecast:

All models indicate that La Niña will continue to weaken in the coming months.

A majority of models and all three multi-model forecasts indicate ENSO-neutral conditions by May-June-July 2011 (Niño-3.4 SST anomalies between -0.5C and +0.5C ), continuing through the rest of 2011.

Complete report here:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

h/t to WUWT reader Pamela Gray

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49 thoughts on “ENSO report and forecast

  1. Keep an eye on the JPN-FRCGC forecast. I have found them consistently far more reliable than ANY of the others. Note also how their forecast differs considerably from all others. Their forecast from about 2 years back is still on track.

  2. Whats up with Cola CCMS3, is it predicting a volcano will open up in the 3.4 area and boil the ocean?

  3. Interesting comments from the Australian BOM.
    However, atmospheric indicators of ENSO continue to be at odds with recent trends in the ocean, and remain consistent with a well developed La Niña event. The latest 30-day Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) value (+30.2) is only a little short of the highest April monthly value on record (+31.7, recorded in 1904), and has remained consistently high throughout the event. Cloudiness near the date-line remains below normal while trade winds continue to be stronger than normal. These atmospheric indicators are expected to return to neutral over the coming months in response to the changes in the ocean.
    A return to La Nina next December is on the cards.

  4. There appears to be one extreme outlier in that ensemble of forecasts. Who produces COLA CCSM3?

  5. Oh, the models tell us this? Well that’s all settled, then!
    I apologise if I don’t bank on the models “projections/predictions”, but I have a deep suspicion of computer modelling when people have to tell the “puter” to show this or that. We are a very long way from serious predictive power from “puters”, they are after all, nothing more than a modern day crystal ball, & who seriously takes those predictions on board. Oh well, I am off to kill some furry animal, drain some of its blood into a bowl, spit into it, put it on the Aga to boil, then pour some onto a plate, let it cool sufficiently to drag a couple of fingers through it to make an abstract pattern, then read some weird prediction into what is left! Long live the modern world. Sarc off!

  6. So does this mean we’ll get more or less snow in New England this coming winter, compared to last winter? 🙂
    JimB

  7. That Niño-3.4 SST graph above will tick over the zero line but by July will swing back towards negative just like in 2008, only deeper.

  8. JimB says:
    April 28, 2011 at 2:36 am
    “So does this mean we’ll get more or less snow in New England this coming winter, compared to last winter? :)”
    That’s easy. The ‘theory’ of global warming/climate change/disruption means that you with get both more snow and less snow next winter.

  9. I think that long term ENSO predictions (based on any model or historical values) are not possible. However, when an inter-annual cycle is initiated than it is likely to be completed. My current research (an online article with all data will be soon available) points to existence of a central Pacific driver (indicator) responsible for initiating a new cycle or modulating the existing one .
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SOI.htm

  10. “Jimmy Haigh says:
    April 28, 2011 at 3:00 am
    That’s easy. The ‘theory’ of global warming/climate change/disruption means that you with get both more snow and less snow next winter.”
    Not true, what the theory actually says is that whatever you get, if you don’t like it, we will blame on global/warming/climate change/disruption. If you do like it, we keep quiet until the next bad thing happens.
    It’s the classic ancient religion ploy – whatever bad happens the priests blame on the anger of the gods who must be appeased. Maybe instead of reducing CO2 emissions, we should sacrifice some virgins.

  11. This is from April 5:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/05/bastardi-no-retrun-of-el-nino-til-2012/
    And a link in that article worth reading:
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/settled-science-masters-vs-masters-vs-hansen-vs-noaa/

    In his [Jeff Master’s] blog today [March 23], he said long-range models that try to predict El Niño’s future “are all over the place,” as they usually are in March.

    And this one from corrupt James Hansen on March 23:

    Based on sub­sur­face ocean tem­pera­tures, the way these have pro­gres­sed the past sever­al months, and com­parisons with de­velop­ment of prior El Niños, we be­lieve that the sys­tem is mov­ing toward a strong El Niño start­ing this summ­er. It’s not a sure bet, but it is pro­b­able.

    I don’t think we will have ENSO-neutral or positive conditions. Jeff Masters believes in AGW and he promotes that idea a lot; that is why I stopped reading his blogs. James Hansen needs a strong El Nino so that global temperatures will rise and his easy money will still keep coming in. I’d trust a thief with my money before I would trust those two with predictions on El Nino.
    I do trust Joe Bastardi. He called for a strong La Nina when others said no La Nina, and he was right. I trust those with a history of being right. Joe Bastardi doesn’t believe in AGW, but he is mostly objective. By contrast, James Hansen has an agenda and career that needs a strong El Nino or it will lose steam.
    Keep Steven Goddard’s link handy for another entry of the climate fail files.

  12. I agree with Keith … post 1. and a few others.
    The SOI is still well positive, which according to some is a good predictor of Nino conditions. They predicted the La Nina 7 mo before it occurred, based purely on SOI values.
    I guess the rest of the year will be a good test of the predictive power of their theory. The Devil in me hopes they are right, and that Global Temp will fall back to pre-1995 levels .. if for no other reason to throw yet another monkey wrench into the Alarmists propaganda ….. not that it will matter, they ‘ll still say we are going to boil because of our evil CO2 emission.

  13. John Marshall says:
    April 28, 2011 at 2:32 am
    All those model predictions? Well they cannot all be correct.
    Yes, but, one of them has a good chance of being right, and can then crow about the accuracy of computer models!

  14. One wonders what part of the COLA input equations is breaking the back of that model. That has got to be embarrassing. Anyone want to bet there is a CO2-related equation driving the obviously CO2-tipping point-ish output? Not only does it clearly indicate a major problem with dynamical models in that they are not constrained by historical statistics, meaning they are at risk for just this sort of fly-away behavior, when they do exhibit this problem, they screw with the dynamical average. If I were determining odds, the statistical average has a better than even chance of being closer to what will actually happen.
    Wish we could get the entire set of the COLA dynamical equation. It would be fun to dig into it.

  15. Deanster says:
    The Devil in me hopes they are right, and that Global Temp will fall back to pre-1995 levels ..
    _____________________________________________________
    … assuming there is such a known and valid metric as Global Temperature, or that any entity with the tools and techniques to track it is trustworthy…

  16. Re: vukcevic
    Looking forward to your article vukcevic. While I don’t always agree with all of your ideas, there are often elements of your presentations that SHOULD be on mainstream radars. Your efforts to stimulate attention to ignored key relations is an important contribution.

  17. The NASA GMAO model is the best model. NCEP CFS, ECMWF and the two Japan models are okay.
    ALL of the rest are not worthwhile even looking at. They are so far off the majority of the time that is surprising they are still being operated. Consequently, the average should not be taken into account either.
    This page lets you review each individual model prediction over the last two years – click on the model name on the right side. You can also go back into the archives and view the last several years.
    http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/currentinfo/modelviews.html
    In terms of where we are going, it is clear that an El Nino will be starting very soon.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ocean/weeklyenso/wkteq_xz.gif
    http://sharaku.eorc.jaxa.jp/AMSR/elnino/201104/P1AME110428SST000500ANOM.png

  18. RR Kampen says:
    April 28, 2011 at 1:28 am
    Actually Niño has just started. By July it will not be neutral, but full Niño
    Your prediction has been noted

  19. kalsel3294 says: “Keep an eye on the JPN-FRCGC forecast. I have found them consistently far more reliable than ANY of the others. Note also how their forecast differs considerably from all others. Their forecast from about 2 years back is still on track.”
    Noooo….. can’t take any more negative SST anomalies… it’s too cold… please say it isn’t so….

  20. A sliver of colder water off the Peru coast has persisted for a couple of months. Could this represent incipient upwelling? This could be a fly in the ointment for those craving an el Nino. The ENSO is a nonlinear oscillator as we all know, and could be at a cusp right now able to flip either way.
    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif

  21. Bill Illis says:
    April 28, 2011 at 7:18 am
    The NASA GMAO model is the best model.
    I look through that report every week, and based on what I’ve seen over the last 2 years I would say none of the models work well.
    NASA GMAO seemed underdamped to me, but perhaps that is incorrect. Your link showing the past model runs suggests that although NASA GMAO is getting the shape correct, it is biased. Most of the NASA GMAO model runs do no fall on top of the actual, they are off (high or low and they do not cross the actual). So if NASA GMAO is the best, then my idea that the whole lot are poor is strengthened.

  22. phlogiston says: “A sliver of colder water off the Peru coast has persisted for a couple of months. Could this represent incipient upwelling? This could be a fly in the ointment for those craving an el Nino. The ENSO is a nonlinear oscillator as we all know, and could be at a cusp right now able to flip either way.”
    When it gets a little bigger, that upwelling (a normal La Nina feature) IMHO is what triggers the El Nino. The colder eastern Pacific and the air above it rise in density and especially in viscosity, presenting a stiffer, more massive obstacle to the trade winds. The trade winds stall a bit, allowing the lump of water in the western Pacific to slosh eastward, creating El Nino conditions. What do you think, phlog? Vuk? Bill?

  23. I’m confudded. The graphic at the very top, which is also on the WUWT reference page, already shows the anomaly in the “neutral” range, at -0.37. Wassup?

  24. Can someone confirm for me that La Nina is when temp anomalies are more than
    -0.5c and El Nino is when temp anomalies are more than 0.5c. I see comments about tipping from one to the other when surely it must go through a nuetral stage in the middle.

  25. Can anyone recommend a book on general weather/climate phenomonae? Usually I’d just go to Amazon but I don’t want to end up with a political text. Thanks.

  26. jorgekafkazar says:
    April 28, 2011 at 10:19 am
    phlogiston says: “A sliver of colder water off the Peru coast has persisted for a couple of months. Could this represent incipient upwelling? This could be a fly in the ointment for those craving an el Nino. The ENSO is a nonlinear oscillator as we all know, and could be at a cusp right now able to flip either way.”
    When it gets a little bigger, that upwelling (a normal La Nina feature) IMHO is what triggers the El Nino. The colder eastern Pacific and the air above it rise in density and especially in viscosity, presenting a stiffer, more massive obstacle to the trade winds. The trade winds stall a bit, allowing the lump of water in the western Pacific to slosh eastward, creating El Nino conditions. What do you think, phlog? Vuk? Bill?
    A good explanation of the ENSO system can be found at:
    http://stratus.astr.ucl.ac.be/textbook/chapter5_node4.xml
    One phenomenon of interest is the “Bjerknes feedback” – Bob Tisdale told me about this recently.
    Bjerknes, J., 1969: Atmospheric teleconnections from the equatorial Pacific. Mon. Wea. Rev. 97, 163-172.
    As the above link shows, this is a positive feedback linking Peruvian upwelling to easterly trades, exactly the same mechanism proposed in the recent post about the ENSO being a nonlinear oscillator of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky type:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/25/is-the-enso-a-nonlinear-oscillator-of-the-belousov-zhabotinsky-reaction-type/
    (At the time I did not know that this feedback was already established as the “Bjerknes feedback”.)
    Returning to jorgekafkazar’s comment, no – I think the effect of upwelling is the opposite – it does not “block” trades in the sense that dense air blocks anything, but the reverse, it establishes a pressure gradient (denser air east, less dense air west) driving and reinforcing the trades – and in turn reinforcing upwelling. Thus upwelling is a precursor to La Nina, not el Nino.
    But will it “catch”? – that is the question.

  27. geo says: April 28, 2011 at 10:36 am
    I’m confudded. The graphic at the very top, which is also on the WUWT reference page, already shows the anomaly in the “neutral” range, at -0.37. Wassup?
    There are different El Nino regions as illustrated by this map:
    http://ioc-goos-oopc.org/state_of_the_ocean/sur/pac/map-pac-EquCylproj.jpg
    The chart at the top of this article and the WUWT ENSO Reference Page is only 3.4 region:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/monitoring/nino3_4.png

  28. Following Geoff’s link above from BOM…

    Cloudiness near the date-line remains below normal while trade winds continue to be stronger than normal.

    Would the key indicator of a change from Nina to Nino be a slowing down of these trade winds ? I take it that they are responsible for maintaining the warm water to the west and easing of the trade winds then allows warm water to slosh back east.
    Is the trade wind a leading or lagging indicator?

  29. All the indicators including the Trade Winds, SOI, Cloud Cover, Outgoing Long-Wave Radiation, Global Water Vapour Levels, Atmospheric Angular Momentum, Global Temperatures (in other words, the Earth’s Climate since these are the big climate indicators) are either concurrent with the Nino 3.4 temperatures or lag behind it by 3 months except for one which leads it …
    The East Equatorial Upper Ocean Temperature Anomaly which is itself led by the West Equatorial Upper Ocean Temperature Anomaly.
    http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/3158/ensoepuothamar11.png
    This is tracking to about +0.6C in April.

  30. Love, love, love this thread. It’s so……weather. And I love discussions about weather. But then I am also into weather pattern variation and don’t give a flying fig about climate change.

  31. The top analogue years used in statistical models and at the end of the NOAA ENSO weekly discussions are not an opera glove fit. Which works for me. It’s far more interesting to see what doesn’t fit than what does. It is endlessly fascinating. Reminds me of women. Each one is so different from the next. Like good wine and top notch chocolate. The same year slapped with the same label can have an entirely different taste between two bottles on the same shelf. And don’t even get me started on dark chocolate. HUGE difference between brands.
    …now what was I talking about…oh yeh…weather. What a woman. By the way, it is snowing here.

  32. Bill Illis says:
    April 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm ,
    Thanks, Bill, and I will second Bob’s comment about that link being a good find. Certainly looks like a good correlation of two hot topics of late, that is ENSO3.4SST and ocean heat content (oh, well the anomaly).
    By eyeballing, 84-85……..leads by one year.
    87…….. going the opposite direction
    2001 to 2010……… seem to match
    It is just that I am looking for a physical mechanism to move the equatorial waters and it seems to me that the trade winds are doing the ‘sloshing’, powered no doubt by the OHC. Perhaps there is a better, more direct connection between trade winds (and they do not have to be a single entity) and ocean height.

  33. Rhoda Ramirez says:
    April 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    Can anyone recommend a book on general weather/climate phenomonae? Usually I’d just go to Amazon but I don’t want to end up with a political text. Thanks.
    Don’t fantasize. Nothing you can read is without an agenda. Here is one exploration of weather/climate that starts out by outlining the philosophy behind the approach. It’s for free at:
    http://www.happs.com.au/images/stories/PDFarticles/TheCommonSenseOfClimateChange.pdf
    If the past is to be our guide we are odds on for La Nina to persist until solar maximum.

  34. I’m sticking with analogue year observations that come with similar weather pattern parameters. A zebra cannot change its stripes though each one is an individual, and CO2 does not have enough energy to overcome God’s hand at painting stripes. So for me, I’m going to say neutral to possibly weak El Nino through the summer, then back to a strong La Nina by late fall. By the way, it is still snowing here in NE Oregon. I will be driving through about 6 inches of snow on the road after work today on my way to Wallowa County. Someone needs to warm that woman up.

  35. Pamela Gray says:
    April 29, 2011 at 7:05 am Someone needs to warm that woman up.
    Try hot milk with German chocolate melted in, add pure cream and finish with a marshmallow. (less trouble than a ‘someone’ 🙂 )

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