El Niño is just not paying attention to climate models – looks like a bust

In the past week both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) scaled back forecasts for a big El Niño warming event in 2014.

anomnight.8.7.2014[1]

Seeing blue in the Pacific, click to enlarge

The models are now on the downswing after being up earlier this year:

figure4[1]

Source: http://iri.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/figure4.gif

Meanwhile, NOAA has announced that the probability of an El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event taking place this year has dropped significantly, saying:

The chance of El Nino has decreased to about 65% during the Northern Hemisphere fall and early winter,”

Last week BoM  changed its El Niño status from “El Niño Alert” to “El Niño Watch”, saying:

“While the chance of an El Niño in 2014 has clearly eased, warmer-than-average waters persist in parts of the tropical Pacific, and the (slight) majority of climate models suggest El Niño remains likely for spring. Hence the establishment of El Niño before year’s end cannot be ruled out. If an El Niño were to occur, it is increasingly unlikely to be a strong event.

This means the chance of El Nino developing in 2014 is approximately 50%, which remains significant at double the normal likelihood of an event,”

Earlier this year, sea surface temperature appeared on the rise, and there was hope in the warmist community that this would help 2014 become a record warm year. For example, the paid Center for American Progress mouthpiece Joe Romm squawked:

Is A Super El Niño Coming That Will Shatter Extreme Weather And Global Temperature Records?

He cited this model forecast:

CFS21-638x564[1]

Uh, no. That hopes seems faded now.

Niño 3.4 Region Sea Surface Temperature Index – July 2006 to Present

Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) – Click the pic to view at source

El Niño related SST’s from earlier this year have now returned to near normal, and  NOAA says: “the lack of a coherent atmospheric El Nino pattern, and a return to near-average SSTs in the central Pacific, indicate ENSO-neutral”.

Niño 3.4 Region Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly – 2000 to Present

NOAA – National Climate Data Center – Click the pic to view at source

Here is the NOAA ENSO discussion published today:

===============================================================

EL NINO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO) DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION

issued by CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWS and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society

7 August 2014

ENSO Alert System Status: El Nino Watch

Synopsis: The chance of El Nino has decreased to about 65% during the Northern Hemisphere fall and early winter.

During July 2014, above-average sea surface temperatures (SST) continued in the far eastern equatorial Pacific, but near average SSTs prevailed in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (Fig. 1). Most of the Nino indices decreased toward the end of the month with values of +0.3°C in Nino-4, -0.1°C in Nino-3.4, +0.2°C in Nino-3, and +0.6°C in Nino-1+2 (Fig. 2). Subsurface heat content anomalies (averaged between 180º-100ºW) continued to decrease and are slightly below average (Fig. 3). The above-average subsurface temperatures that were observed near the surface during June (down to 100m depth) are now limited to a thin layer in the top 50m, underlain by mainly below-average temperatures (Fig. 4). The low-level winds over the tropical Pacific remained near average during July, but westerly wind anomalies appeared in the central and eastern part of the basin toward the end of the month. Upper-level winds remained generally near average and convection was enhanced mainly just north of the equator in the western Pacific (Fig. 5). The lack of a coherent atmospheric El Nino pattern, and a return to near-average SSTs in the central Pacific, indicate ENSO-neutral.

Over the last month, model forecasts have slightly delayed the El Nino onset, with most models now indicating the onset during July-September, with the event continuing into early 2015 (Fig. 6). A strong El Nino is not favored in any of the ensemble averages, and slightly more models call for a weak event rather than a moderate event. At this time, the consensus of forecasters expects El Nino to emerge during August-October and to peak at weak strength during the late fall and early winter (3-month values of the Nino-3.4 index between 0.5°C and 0.9°C). The chance of El Nino has decreased to about 65% during the Northern Hemisphere fall and early winter (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome).

This discussion is a consolidated effort of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA’s National Weather Service, and their funded institutions. Oceanic and atmospheric conditions are updated weekly on the Climate Prediction Center web site (El Nino/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions). Forecasts are also updated monthly in the Forecast Forum of CPC’s Climate Diagnostics Bulletin. Additional perspectives and analysis are also available in an ENSO blog. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 4 September 2014. To receive an e-mail notification when the monthly ENSO Diagnostic Discussions are released, please send an e-mail message to: ncep.list.enso-update@noaa.gov.

Climate Prediction Center

National Centers for Environmental Prediction

NOAA/National Weather Service

College Park, MD 20740

End of diagnostic discussions

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I admit that your raw data looks like this El Nino is a bust, but just wait until the data is “adjusted”! Ah, then we will show you!
(some snark in the above is possible)

Damn, this is bad for California’s water situation.

Resourceguy

The squawkers will run silent for now or move on to other squawk topics and predictions. They will have to be right sometime, even with coin flips as consultanting expertise.

joelobryan

Really though the SW US could use the rain from an El Nino winter. Maybe someone should call John Holdren at the WH and ask him to tell NOAA to fix the the SST readings so we can have an El Nino and the rainfall. Isn’t that how our Climate works?
/s – if you couldn’t tell.

dccowboy

“Is A Super El Niño Coming That Will Shatter Extreme Weather And Global Temperature Records?”
There are ‘extreme weather’ records?
Ah well, whatever happened to the ‘Monster Kelvin Wave’?
I love the emotion laden headlines associated with the Kelvin Wave earlier this spring. VERY scientific
“Monster Kelvin Wave Is Barfing Heat Into The Atmosphere” Daily KOS, May 9, 2014
* I had no idea Kelvin waves had intestinal systems that would allow them to ‘barf’*
“El Nino Update: Monster Kelvin Wave Continues to Emerge and Intensify” uknowispeaksense (??) April, 3, 2014
* the blog name says it all, I can’t add anything else*
“Monster El Nino Emerging : Massive Kelvin Wave Breaks Surface in Eastern Pacific” Lunatic Outpost (very aptly named LOL), Mar 26, 2014
*I get the mental image of a scene from ‘The Hunt For Red October’ *
“Monster El Nino Emerging From the Depths: Nose of Massive Kelvin Wave Breaks Surface in Eastern Pacific”
*Kelvin waves have noses? That implies they have faces … and bodies, yes?*
Oh well, I’m having entirely too much fun with this.

Latitude

First the models predict an El Nino….
….then they predict an El Nada
and people pay attention to this, why?

mpainter

Stupid El Nino ignores the climate models which say the trade winds have weakened..ah err.., I mean turbocharged..no! I mean..I mean..
reversed?

California is not going to like that. Their drought will go on. Without Celine Dion.

PhilCP

So does this year count as a “weak el-Ninio” or not at all? In other words, can we expect an El-Ninio next year or an El-Ninia?

Lou

Not very good news for southwest USA. We really could use extra rainfall in Texas…

dccowboy

Well, I don’t think that ‘climate models’ predicted a super El-Nino.

“Latitude says:
August 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm
First the models predict an El Nino….
….then they predict an El Nada
and people pay attention to this, why?
######################
when the weatherman tells me there is a 50% chance of rain, I bring an umbrella.

george e. smith

Well this mornings SJ Murky news, had six inch headlines about a mega el nino coming.
Really good timing.

dccowboy

PhilCP says:
August 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm
So does this year count as a “weak el-Ninio” or not at all? In other words, can we expect an El-Ninio next year or an El-Ninia?
=====================
So far this year (2014) the 3.4 indicator (on the right side of Anthony’s website) has been ‘neutral’, then swung to a very weak ‘El Nino’ area, then has returned to almost dead center neutral.
That being said, I don’t think (based on Bob Tisdale’s excellent ‘tutoring’) that El-Ninos or La Ninas are dependent events, probabilistically speaking. So, the bottom line is – who knows?

Latitude

Steven Mosher says:
August 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm
when the weatherman tells me there is a 50% chance of rain, I bring an umbrella.
====
why do I not doubt that one bit
where I live, when the weatherman says mostly sunny….I take one

“… when the weatherman tells me there is a 50% chance of rain, I bring an umbrella.”
The weatherman has a good track record, but the Team climatologists have yet to get any prediction right. I see a big difference in a good weatherman and a computer-games-model jockey who calls himself a “climatologist”.

george e. smith

“””””…..charles the moderator says:
August 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm
Damn, this is bad for California’s water situation……”””””
Well California’s water usage is bad for California’s water situation.
SoCal is swilling in it. (and it comes from norcal.) You couldn’t add a thimble full to Lake Perris or Pyramid Lake up the grapevine.

James Abbott

Of course El Nino does not pay attention to climate models !
If there was a significant El Nino we would almost certainly be into record warm territory. NASA GISS LOTI is running at +0.65 (base 51-80) for the first half of 2014 – very close to record as it is.

u.k.(us)

Never mind.

Oops…

Rob

The third consecutive bust.
The PDO regime continues to destroy El Niño
AND Global Warming.

coaldust

I think the takeaway from this is that the atmosphere drives El Niño. It requires westerly wind anomalies. Yes, there are feedbacks from warm water, but these feedbacks take place in the atmosphere, and if there is some stronger driver of the trade winds that doesn’t allow the feedbacks to create westerly anomalies, then it’s La Nada.

WxMatt

The Super El Niño hope by alarmists is definitely a big bust, but it still looks like we’re on track for a weak to moderate El Niño event by later this autumn in winter. This will be good news for droughted California and take another we-are-at-fault headline off the front pages. We’re only tracking slightly behind 2009 right now (the last Niño) and the atmosphere has already started to respond to it some ways (bigger Western Pacific typhoon season, suppressed Atlantic season, and cool/wetter U.S. summer for Southern to Eastern U.S.).

Steven Mosher says: August 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm
when the weatherman tells me there is a 50% chance of rain, I bring an umbrella.
– – –
When the weatherman tells me there is a 10% chance of rain, I put the roof back on my Porsche, because the last time the weatherman predicted a 10% chance of rain, I left the roof off my Porsche overnight and it rained. Fortunately my father put a sheet of plastic over the roof and in the morning I just had to gently push up on the plastic and I could let out the several inches of rain that had settled.

Arno Arrak

All those guys think an El Nino will put an end to their enemy, that pause/hiatus that has global warming stopped in its tracks.. No such luck I have to tell them. Whatever warming an El Nino may bring, the La Nina that follows will take it right back. By now they ought to know that ENSO is not, and never has been, a source of global warming. It is quite true that the super El Nino of 1998 did raise the temperature of the twenty-first century to what it is now but this warming came from a source outside of the regular ENSO oscillation. It was a once in a century occurrence that should have been investigated but unfortunately all those billions spent on climate research by governments were more urgently needed to prove that the greenhouse effect exists. You may know that Hansen himself told the Senate that he personally discovered the greenhouse effect. His proof was that he knew of a hundred year warming that could not be explained by pure chance and therefore must be greenhouse warming. Unfortunately when you look at his warming curve you find that at least 30 of those 100 years are definitely not greenhouse warming. You cannot use non-greenhouse warming to prove the existence of the greenhouse effect and that nullifies his claim. Nobody else has observed actual greenhouse effect in action either which makes it a pure theoretical concept, one they credit with creating a world-wide anthropogenic global warming or AGW.

I’m going to wait to see the graphs that Bob Tisdale provides. They are more understandable to me.

Increased global cloudiness skews ENSO in favour of La Nina events relative to El Nino events for a cooling world and decreased global cloudiness does the opposite.
Global cloudiness is affected by the level of solar activity altering jet stream tracks between zonal and meridional patterns.
The gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles is affected by variations in atmospheric chemistry above the tropopause. Those changes in gradient affect the ability of the jets to adopt a more or less meridional pattern.

WxMatt

Good point, Stephen. We’re also about 1/3 of the way through the current -PDO phase, which also favors more (and stronger) La Niña vs. El Niño events as we have seen.

Bill Jamison

I’m sure some warmists will be VERY disappointed that a Super El Niño isn’t on the way bringing a new record high annual anomaly along with it. It was foolish for forecasters to get too excited about the potential for an El Niño when the models are notoriously unreliable that far out and across the spring/summer barrier. They should have taken a more cautious approach and waited until August when the models are more skillful in their prediction.
If you look at the IRI chart above notice the thicker light grey line which is the average of the statistical models which generally don’t run as warm as the dynamical models. That average predicts only a slight El Niño with SST anomalies to about 0.75.
Unfortunately for California that may not be enough to ensure a wet winter and deep snowpack for the Sierra Nevada. I certainly hope we aren’t faced with another year of drought.

Steven Mosher says:
August 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm
“Latitude says:
August 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm
First the models predict an El Nino….
….then they predict an El Nada
and people pay attention to this, why?
######################
when the weatherman tells me there is a 50% chance of rain, I bring an umbrella

The weatherman is using radar and observational evidence, (among other things) to predict the possibility of rain in certain areas.
The climate models are using “best guesses” as to what should be in a climate model while they leave out items they aren’t able to reproduce or don’t understand fully.
Yeah, that’s exactly the same. Good analogy Mosher.
Oh, and to garymount – I put the top up often when I leave the car unatended here in Florida even when it is sunny. Otherwise, I push the seat backs forward.
Seagulls and other birds, you know.
🙂

Lake Powell Water levels by calendar date for the past 4 years.
http://graphs.water-data.com/lakepowell/index.php
Aug 1, 2011, Lake Powell peaked at 3660 feet, gaining 50 feet in to 2011 melt.
(3660 feet on Aug. 7, 2011 was the highest water level on Aug 7 of any year in the past 10 years.
Average for Aug 7. is 3618 in past 10 years.)
2012 and 2013 were relatively dry and the rose hardly at all in the summer months.
It fell to a low of 3573 (a drop of 87 feet) on April 15, 2014. Since then, the Lake rose 37 feet to 3610 feet in eight weeks on July 8, 2014.
It has been a good, wet year in the Colorado River Basin in 2014.
Fire Danger in Breckenridge is LOW in August. Unheard of.
The reservoirs across the state are near full.
https://coyotegulch.wordpress.com/category/colorado-water/blue-river-watershed/green-mountain-reservoir/
But the deficit in Lake Powell from 2012-13 is big. It is a big hole to fill. By volume, Powell is at 51.4% of full.
Lake Powell max elevation is 3700 feet.
Upstream reservoirs are 78% of capacity.
Colorado river is flowing 117% of average (+800 cfs) into Powell
Green River is flowing 92% (-300 cfs)
San Juan is flowing 54% (-900 cfs)
With all the others,
Powell in total has inflow of 10672 cfs, about 350 cfs below average for Aug. 7.

mpainter

Arno Arrak has put his finger on it.
That global warmers in their desperation are hoping for a big El Nino and another step-up. It looks like these hopes will be dashed. The longer the flat temp. trend the more desperate they become. I predict some outrageous falsifications will be seen soon, some of the worst ever.

“The climate models are using “best guesses” as to what should be in a climate model while they leave out items they aren’t able to reproduce or don’t understand fully.
Yeah, that’s exactly the same. Good analogy Mosher.”
These would be weather models.
generally you want to look at people who have something at stake and watch if they take the advise of a model. For example, some farmers in Australia and Indonesia change planting strategies according to these types of forecasts.
In the end what you think doesnt matter. what matters is the long term performance of those who take the advice versus those who dont.
what you think is beside the point and not important

John In Oz

Steven Mosher must be overloaded carrying an umbrella, sun screen, galoshes, sandals, beach towel (dual purpose for rain or recreational water), sun glasses, snorkel and the many other items necessary to weather the huge range of predictions from climate models.
Which one does he follow?

Don’t forget Trenberth’s, recent prediction: It’s not a matter of if there will be an El Nino, but how big? 😉

Farmer Gez

As a farmer on SE Australia I’m not too upset at the demise of a strong El Niño event. While conditions are damp there is a shortage of heavy rain and the lack of runoff is a concern for Summer water supplies. There appears to be reduction in the moisture feed into Eastern Australia from the Tasman sea, which is consistent with a weak event.

Jake J

@Stephen Rasey, could you explain why, if reservoirs upstream from Lake Powell are “overfull,” the water authorities aren’t sending the water to Lake Powell? Is it even possible for them to do it? Will Lake Powell fill up later? There’s a whole lot I don’t know about this, and I’m asking you because it seems like there’s a whole lot you do know.

J. Philip Peterson says: “I’m going to wait to see the graphs that Bob Tisdale provides. They are more understandable to me.”
I posted a quick update on Monday:
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/nino3-4-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies-are-approaching-zero/
I’ll probably title the August El Nino update “Part 15 – Is This The Last Post in This Series or Should We Start Talking La Nina?”
Cheers.

stan stendera

I am beginning to wonder if there is a real chance of a La Nina in the near future. Your que Mr. Tisdale?

richard verney

Steven Mosher says:
August 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm
“Latitude says:
August 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm
First the models predict an El Nino….
….then they predict an El Nada
and people pay attention to this, why?
######################
when the weatherman tells me there is a 50% chance of rain, I bring an umbrella.
/////////////////
But what if the weather man tells you that it is going to be dry, but his track record on forecasts is that he is right only 50% of the time?
But, unfortunately, in the field of climate science, no model has yet proved to be even remotely right.

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

So this is going to be an el-None-ia?

A new and amazing innovative EL NINO forecasting method has been developed
recently in Germany, with participation of the PIK institute. Those folks are
correct to a amazingly high degree and employ advanced computer simulations:
They were capable to place their innovative method in PNAS:
EL-NINO Prognose (Ludescher et al. 2014) erschien Anfang Februar
in der Fachzeitschrift PNAS,
Those folks, PIK and Ludescher are the greatest in EL-NiNO calculators, all others
just producing guesswork.

James at 48

Horrible news for we the drought-weary.

stan stendera says:
August 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm
With the switch in PDO phase, La Ninas should again predominate during the next two or three decades.
When there was more warm water on the American side of the temperate North Pacific (1925-46 and 1977-98) El Ninos outnumbered La Ninas 15-13 (not surprisingly, since warm water reaches tropical American shores more often with more and stronger El Ninos), and when on the Asian side (1900-24, 1947-76, 1999-20xx), La Ninas outnumbered El Ninos by 24-18 (last data from 2002).
http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~mantua/TABLES2.html

“when the weatherman tells me there is a 50% chance of rain, I bring an umbrella.”
First I check the date of the forecast. If it’s Tuesday and the forecast is for the weekend, I ignore it, because the forecast will be useless. If it’s for tomorrow, I check the rainfall prediction. If it’s 0-1mm, I don’t pack an umbrella either.

TRM

charles the moderator says: August 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm
Damn, this is bad for California’s water situation.
I was thinking the same thing. I was actually hoping for some elNino type situation to give Mr Watts & Co in California some much needed rainfall.

1sky1

Has anyone yet found the shards of the eastern Pacific surface broken by the massive Kelvin wave?

BarryW

I’m sure they’ll tell us it’s all hiding in the deep ocean and when it does hit it will prove all the deniers wrong. I’ll file their Super El Nino with the super solar max that Hathaway predicted.

Bill Illis

The threat of an El Nino was over a month ago. I have no idea what the ENSO models are using to predict a fall resurgence.
Perhaps it is just wishcasting.
But conditions can change, something unexpected might happen. That is all it might be based on.
In the meantime, the equatorial Pacific heat content has now become “neutral” across its entire length. The Pacific Warm Pool is no longer holding extra heat content. This can only extend the hiatus for another year.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ocean/index/heat_content_index.txt

The data feed for the ENSO meter over on the right-side nav bar:
Opening http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?ctlfile=oiv2.ctl&ptype=ts&var=ssta&level=1&op1=none&op2=none&day=05&month=jul&year=2014&fday=04&fmonth=aug&fyear=2014&lat0=-5&lat1=5&lon0=-170&lon1=-120&plotsize=800×600&title=&dir=
Found target /tmp/CTEST14071500019778.txt
Opening http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov//tmp/CTEST14071500019778.txt
Data file
data from 00Z05JUL2014 to 00Z04AUG2014
“———-”
0.561384
0.434261
0.363833
0.0786591
0.034892
Length of data file 98, most recent value: 0.034892
Yeah, yeah, the graphs above are better….