La Niña returns

While we wait for NOAA to update their ENSO meter on the WUWT sidebar, Bob Tisdale is way ahead of them. Visually, the La Niña seems rather obvious in the image below:

clickable global map of SST anomalies

More is available at the WUWT ENSO page

Weekly ENSO Index Drops Below The La Niña Threshold

by Bob Tisdale

This post will serve as the Mid-August 2011 SST Anomaly Update

NINO3.4

NINO3.4 SST anomalies (a commonly used El Niño-Southern Oscillation Index) have dropped significantly below the -0.5 deg C threshold of a La Niña Event. They are presently at approximately -0.74 deg C.

NINO3.4 SST Anomalies

GLOBAL

Weekly Global SST anomalies rose since the last mid-month update, but made a minor dip last week. Global SST anomalies usually lag NINO3.4 SST anomalies by a few months so the global SST anomalies should be nearing their seasonal peak for this year, before they start to respond to the depressed NINO3.4 SST anomalies. For the week centered on August 17, 2011, Global SST anomalies are +0.169 deg C. I’ve also included a shorter-term graph so that the most recent wiggles are visible.

Global SST Anomalies

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Global SST Anomalies – Short Term

SOURCE

Reynolds OI.v2 SST anomaly data is available through the NOAA NOMADS system:

http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?lite

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65 thoughts on “La Niña returns

  1. UK Sceptic says:
    August 22, 2011 at 7:01 am
    “Well that’s Hansen’s shirt gone. Perhaps he’ll go for double or nothing and put up his trench coat?”
    LOL.
    Is the hat gone?

  2. La Nina returns … but what about the global sea temperatures measured by ARGO buoys ?
    It seem impossible to find the graphical representation of the data after 2008 … why ? Does the ocean temperature continues to drop and it’s not political correct to show this result (a little bit like CLOUD experience in CERN) ?

  3. Well, there goes the “Super El Nino.”
    Better luck next year, Mr. Hansen.
    .
    .
    .
    And… thank you, Bob!

  4. It would be nice to get a record La Nina this year just for fun. How about an anti-1998 el Nino? How about -4? Would that make the warmistas think?

  5. Do we know (can we back-calculate) the ENSO values for the 1940-1976 global decrease in temperatures previously found in the land records .. before NASA-GISS manipulated the records that is?
    Can any data/proxies be back-calculated for the 1880-1915 decline in land temps?

  6. I hope this doesn’t mean another round of extreme flood events for the Midwest. Is that likely? If so, when?

  7. La Niña probably means continued drought, so I’m thinking of having my lawn fiberglassed, or go the Brady Bunch route and try Astroturf. The lawn people don’t speak English, so they’ll likely keep mowing it.
    A hurricane would help.
    Mike in Houston

  8. Jimmy H:
    “How about an anti-1998 el Nino? How about -4? Would that make the warmistas think?”
    That it is MUCH WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT.
    🙂

  9. Bob the swiss says: “La Nina returns … but what about the global sea temperatures measured by ARGO buoys ?”
    The Reynolds OI.v2 SST anomaly data used in this post is satellite-based, and it’s supplemented by in situ observations from ships and buoys. As far as I know, the buoys include the ARGO surface readings.
    The ARGO data is also used in the NODC’s Ocean Heat Content and Thermosteric Sea Level data:
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/
    I presented ARGO-era Ocean Heat Content data through 2010 in a post earlier this year:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2011/03/argo-era-nodc-ocean-heat-content-data-0.html
    And, of course, if you have the appropriate software (also available through the following link), you can download the raw ARGO data directly from their website:
    http://www-argo.ucsd.edu/

  10. Oh [rude word]. This is not what Texas needs. Another year as dry as this one and agriculture in the Texas Panhandle will be teetering, as will municipal water systems. Even the irrigated crops are struggling, and the dry ground may have contributed to a massive water pipeline failure that has cut several cities’ water supplies in half.

  11. Re the Texas comments I’ just an old school Paramedic but if we build/dig a canal/pipeline from the northern plains that flood to Texas would that help the economy and the farmers in both regions ???
    Just my 2 cents John G

  12. Please, don’t pray for a record LN just to annoy the carbon cultists. LN kills people in the Northwest, through snow-collapsed roofs and snow-shoveling heart attacks.

  13. Can anyone provide me with a link of Hansen predicting an El Niño or “Super El Niño” for the coming 12 months or so? Thanks a lot in advance!

  14. Re: Question about the sidebar ENSO graphic.
    The graphic on the sidebar might be based on info/input from CPC.
    The latest from the Climate Prediction Center has:
    Niño 4 …… -.2°C
    Niño 3.4 … -.7°C
    Niño 3 …… -.5°C
    Niño 1+2 .. -.3°C
    These are the latest WEEKLY values. However, “CPC considers El Niño or La Niña conditions to occur when the monthly Niño3.4 OISST departures meet or exceed +/-0.5°C along with consistent atmospheric features. These anomalies must also be forecasted to persist for 3 consecutive months.”
    The previous values were:
    [April, May, June] AMJ = -0.2 (posted July)
    [May, June, July] MJJ = 0.0 (posted August)
    I suspect that when the CPC updates their MONTHLY values in a couple weeks and posts them for the period JJA (June, July, August) in early September, we’ll see them announce not only a negative value but that they see the existence of La Niña conditions.

  15. I am not surprised to see this.
    From the data set out in your recent post (Memo to Hansen), it certainly appeared that this was just around the corner. It will be interesting to see how long these conditions sustain and what this does to the global temperature anomaly.
    Interesting times ahead, especially if the effects of the quiet sun and chnge to cooler ocean phases begins to kick in next year/the year after.

  16. Hi Bob, thanks for the update.
    OI.v2 SST seems to be still on the up, whereas Dr Spencer’s AMRE (70N-70S I think) offering seems to be on the way down. Is the arctic/antarctic getting hotter? Might there be some other reason for the divergence?
    Thanks

  17. I have been keeping a close eye on this for a while now.
    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2011/08/what-is-going-on-in-the-pacific/
    Still early to call it El Nino, especially in comparison to last year when it was fully developing already. Not say it won’t go that way, but certainly it will be different from what developed last year.
    There has not bee a strong cool phase PDO in a while, but it still looks like the PDO is stronger than the ENSO at the moment.

  18. Building on Leon’s comments and links, an official La Nina episode is when there are 5 consecutive 3 month overlapping periods of cooler than -0.5 C, which would not happen prior to this fall.

  19. Please help with a fuzzy memory:
    Didn’t Joe Bastardi (formerly of AccuWeather, and now on a new gig) post a WUWT article more than a month ago, predicting a La Nina deja vu?
    Mark H.
    P. S. Not to take anything away from Bob, or any other scientist, who actually looks at DATA (Heaven forbid!!)!

  20. Dang, that means Alberta will have another stupid cold winter and lots of snow…yuk…..please bring back global warming!!!

  21. tallbloke says: “OI.v2 SST seems to be still on the up, whereas Dr Spencer’s AMRE (70N-70S I think) offering seems to be on the way down. Is the arctic/antarctic getting hotter? Might there be some other reason for the divergence?”
    I believe Roy Spencer’s AMRE based SST data is limited to 60S-60N, so that he didn’t have to deal with sea ice. He also presents it on a monthly basis, and comparing weekly data to monthly data is difficult. For example, the July 2011 Monthly Reynolds OI.v2 Global data appears to have dropped from its peak in June.
    http://i51.tinypic.com/cuhio.jpg

  22. As I had mentioned a few months ago, the key was if the Nino 3.4 SST anomalies would swing back towards La Nina territory around about mid July, and it has.
    There is a difference between this young La Nina and the previous one in that the previous La Nina was driven by strong trade wind anomalies. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was in record positive (La Nina) territory of +30. The current 3.4 SST anomalies are driven by cooler sub-surface waters rising to the surface. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/sub_surf_mon.gif The SOI is only slightly positive, swinging around +6 to +10. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/monitoring/soi30.png
    If the SOI returns to high positive values, this La Nina will strengthen and persist through to the new year. If the SOI doesn’t, it will peter out by years end.
    Either way, there is yet another difference between this baby La Nina and the last one in that the last one was accompanied by quite warm Western Pacific waters which were pushed up against the Australian coast and the Indonesian archipelago. There are no such warm waters this time around, in fact the SST anomalies in the Indonesian archipelago are cooler than usual.
    What I believe this means to Global temperature anomalies is that if the SOI stays low i.e. the trade winds don’t pick up, this La Nina will have a low impact on Ts. However if the SOI does pick up and reach anywhere near the record levels of earlier this year, Global Ts will drop like a stone.
    This is just personal opinion from observation.

  23. Not again! The Front Range of Colorado was dry as a bone for most of the winter/spring, the cool temps and rain in May were SUCH a relief! We’ve also had a great summer up until the past few weeks. Now we’re hot and dry.
    I guess the ski areas will be happy, the mountains got pounded with snow last winter.

  24. Thanks Bob. We are dealing with small fractions of a degree here, so I guess we’ll have to await developments. I still think we’ll be going as low as the Jan 2008 figures before this double dip la nina is done.

  25. @Bob Tisdale: As always a remarkable post. No way, the UN´s IPCC political science forecasts have been succesfully replaced by UN´s FAO humble fish catches report:
    ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/005/y2787e/

    Figure 9.1 The future fluctuations of detrended Global temperature anomaly (top) and “zonal” form of Atmospheric
    ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/005/y2787e/y2787e08.pdf
    (page 50)

    As I said last year: La Niña just went to the toilette to fix her make-up so she was going to come back soon, and she did so.

  26. Mark Hladik says:
    August 22, 2011 at 11:34 am
    Yes, I believe Joe Bastardi did predict another round of La Nina. Only I can’t remember how strong …Something about the 2nd one being colder and drier than the 1st one.
    It would be nice to have Joe drop by and set the record straight.

  27. November 2010 to April 2011 was a bit extreme for Queensland – hardly saw the sun at all. Now in August after a few fine mostly beautiful clear skies it is raining again – out of season too might I say – normally mostly sunny in August to December.
    The recent cloudy cool weather and recent rain look ominous.
    Not another La-Nina so soon – please – you probably saw Toowoomba, Grantham, Rockhampton, Ipswich, Brisbane and about 70% of Queensland under water.
    For comparison look at a map of Aus to see how big Queensland is and you’ll appreciate why we don’t want a repeat dose this year.

  28. The Sun is still quiet. No heat for the Earth’s largest heat storage system, the Pacific. When the heat upwelling in the North Pacific is cooled; the true effects of a quiet Sun will be felt.
    Note that the 10.2 cm Flux rarely went above 110 for the last 7 years. A normal peak would be 250++.
    No heat, no El Nino…

  29. I think it would be an interesting albeit somber area of study to look into how a mini glacial in the Cordilleran may or may not be a trigger for an overall NH glacial during an general Ice Age such as the current one.

  30. Mark Hladik says:
    August 22, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Please help with a fuzzy memory:
    Didn’t Joe Bastardi (formerly of AccuWeather, and now on a new gig) post a WUWT article more than a month ago, predicting a La Nina deja vu?

    Go to top of page. Enter Bastardi in search form. Hit enter.
    see links like
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/12/bastardi-science-and-reality-point-away-not-toward-co2-as-climate-driver/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/06/u-s-east-coast-is-the-next-wild-weather-target/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/22/bastardi-just-say-no-to-el-nino-at-least-till-2012/
    You don’t need to remember when the post was, just how to find it.

  31. My two-pennyworth:
    Anecdotally it seems to have been an extraordinarily dry quarter in Singapore. Anything to do with general cooling of equatorial surface water in the Pacific I wonder?

  32. O/T El Nina effects parts of the world differently. But – in UK, the Ministry of Defence has said they can not approve a wind turbine farm near Carlisle as it interfers with their surveillance detection devices. Wind are denounced as Bird choppers, ear stoppers, low generator per cost, now a National security danger. Now of course the land owners want them they get paid heaps
    (in Oz $10k per turbine on their land) if they have 15 that’s a fair income. Also those dreadful things have a habit of bursting into flames, getting iced up in winter, won’t turn if the wind is too low or too high. Reliability. Bet they can be disabled quicker too (like blown up by terrorists).
    Check Tory Aardvarks blog for more info.

  33. John Kehr says:
    August 22, 2011 at 10:55 am
    I have been keeping a close eye on this for a while now.
    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2011/08/what-is-going-on-in-the-pacific/
    Still early to call it El Nino, especially in comparison to last year when it was fully developing already. Not say it won’t go that way, but certainly it will be different from what developed last year.
    There has not bee a strong cool phase PDO in a while, but it still looks like the PDO is stronger than the ENSO at the moment.

    “PDO stronger than ENSO? You probably know that Bob Tisdale considers (correct me if I’m wrong!) that ENSO and PDO are one and the same.
    FWIW I think the same as Bob. My guess is that the PDO is the Lorenz or Roessler type biphasic butterfly wing attractor of the ENSO.

  34. phlogiston says: “PDO stronger than ENSO? You probably know that Bob Tisdale considers (correct me if I’m wrong!) that ENSO and PDO are one and the same.”
    Nope. The PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO. They aren’t one and the same. And regrading the PDO strength, you have to keep in mind that the PDO data has been standardized, If we compare the 1st Principal Component of the detrended North Pacific (north of 20N) SST anomalies (basically the PDO) to the 1st PC of detrended NINO3.4 SST anomalies and eastern tropical Pacific SST anomalies, without standardizing the data…
    http://i54.tinypic.com/x6cxvo.jpg
    …we can see that the NINO3,4 SST anomaly signal dwarfs the North Pacific signal.

  35. Bob Tisdale says:
    August 23, 2011 at 4:36 am
    phlogiston says: “PDO stronger than ENSO? You probably know that Bob Tisdale considers (correct me if I’m wrong!) that ENSO and PDO are one and the same.”
    Nope. The PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO.
    Thanks – the way I worded it rather missed the mark. The point I was trying to make was that you consider there to be a direct link between the ENSO and PDO.
    …we can see that the NINO3,4 SST anomaly signal dwarfs the North Pacific signal.
    Is this just because there is more Pacific ocean at the equator than further north?

  36. phlogiston says:”Is this just because there is more Pacific ocean at the equator than further north?”
    The SST anomaly variations are largest at the equator in response to ENSO. The NINO3.4 region is also a smaller surface area that the North Pacific (north of 20N) and the eastern Tropical Pacific, which are both about the same size in surface area. .

  37. Looking at the west coast summer (or lack there of) it would appear La Nina is hanging around. Consider a solar grand minima impacting the Pacific cooling adds an element that did not exist during the last cool PDO. A cooler Atlantic will really put the northerners in misery.
    It should then be obvious to the folks in traditionally cold areas to plan accordingly and for those who get those once in a thousand year severe winter to be even more cognitive. It might save you a lot of grief to have a generator with a few days of fuel, water, and food. I have seen first hand what can happen to those who are not savvy to how nasty a winter can be. It only takes one to end your days.

  38. Back in May various trolls notably RR Kampen were loudly proclaiming a big el Nino on the way. Even some WUWT heavy-weights like Bill Illis who should have known better got sucked into predicting an el Nino. What happened? It was obvious from April and even earlier that tongues of cold water – albeit small – were spreading along the Peruvian coast both from the north and the south. This signified incipient upwelling that was the inevitable precursor of the upwelling-trade winds feedback which launches a La Nina. Back in April I asked the question – “will it catch?”. Well, it has. The BoM Monthly Subsurface Pacific Ocean Equatorial Temperature Anomalies down to 400 Meters (WUWT ENSO page) show well established cold water at the east Pacific and a La Nina well underway.

  39. Baa Humbug says:
    August 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm
    Could Bob Tisdale comment on the above post ?
    I was interested to see the suggestion that the climate effect of La Nina (and presumably El Nino) could be altered by the SOI index that accompanies it.
    Previously I thought that ENSO phenomena such as El Nino and La Nina drove the SOI (or was it vice versa?) but Baa Humbug seems to be suggesting a degree of independence for SOI and ENSO phenomena.
    Clarification please ?

  40. From an engineer who looks at the obvious causes and effects, it is without doubt solar and astronomical influences that are driving our climate.
    The rather somnolent attitude of our sun at the moment is a rather worrying aspect, and could cause some grief in coming years in regards to world food supplies and creature comforts.
    This extended La Nina may forebode the start of some thing more unpleasant than the financial situation that we find ourselves in. With no food surpluses stored as in the past, a just in time mentality prevailing a profound disaster could rapidly occur.
    I am rather hoping that the global warming kicks in soon and saves us from seeing suffering of those less fortunate than us.

  41. If the SOI guys are correct, with a 6-7 mo delay .. this will be a short lived event. SOI is running negative at the moment.
    I figure we’ll see a dip, then a return to neutral conditions for awhile. Nothing is pointing to an El Nino yet. I don’t know what Looney Tunes Cartoon Hansen watches to come up with such .. but then, I’ve never grasped the line of thinking inherent in enviro-activists.

  42. I live in NM, I can’t take it anymore! I have to move north where its either normally wet or abnormally wet! In the southwest its either abnormally wet or extremly extremly dry!!! The growing southwest populations can’t handle the extended droughts! Is it just me ore are there now far more La Ninas on the horizon compared to El Ninos! Not to mention the sun is ramping up now! God help us(especially Texas) we’re in for a world of hurt for 2012!

  43. Stephen Wilde says: “Previously I thought that ENSO phenomena such as El Nino and La Nina drove the SOI (or was it vice versa?) but Baa Humbug seems to be suggesting a degree of independence for SOI and ENSO phenomena.”
    The Southern Oscillation is part of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon. No doubt about that. Are you referring to equatorial Pacific SST anomalies and the SOI? Equatorial Pacific SST anomalies and the SOI data are measured independently, because they are the measurements of two different variables. One represents the sea surface temperature anomalies of the east-central equatorial Pacific and the other is the difference between the Sea Level pressures of two off-equatorial locations. Are the variables coupled? Yes. Do the two indices correlate perfectly? No. The SOI picks up more “weather” noise.
    BTW, NINO3.4 SST anomalies can precede the SOI at times…
    http://i53.tinypic.com/s483tf.jpg
    …which is why I do not pay much attention to those who use the SOI as a predictor of NINO3.4 SST anomalies or as a predictor of the response in Global Temperatures.

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