Guest Post by Bob Tisdale
This is a quick ENSO update.
NOAA’s weekly sea surface temperature anomaly data for the NINO regions (based on the original Reynolds OI.v2 data) are furnished on Mondays. Today’s update for the week centered on June 22, 2016 shows the sea surface temperature anomalies of the NINO3.4 region (5S-5N, 170W-120W), which NOAA uses to define El Niño and La Niña events and their strengths, are at -0.4 deg C…a tick above the -0.5 deg C threshold of La Niña conditions.
The top graph in Figure 1 includes a time-series graph of the weekly NINO3.4 region sea surface temperature anomalies from the NOAA/CPC Monthly Atmospheric & SST Indices webpage, specifically the data here. The base years for anomalies for the NOAA/CPC data are referenced to 1981-2010. And in the bottom graph, the evolution of the NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies in 2015/16 are compared to 1997/98, another very strong El Niño. Recall that 2015 started the year at or near El Niño conditions, where that was not the case in 1997.
NOTE: When looking at any graph of sea surface temperature anomalies of the equatorial Pacific, keep in mind that the uncertainties of the data prevent us from knowing the actual sea surface temperatures. We illustrated and discussed this in the post The Differences between Sea Surface Temperature Datasets Prevent Us from Knowing Which El Niño Was Strongest According NINO3.4 Region Temperature Data.
Expect the full ENSO update in a week or two.
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I also published On Global Warming and the Illusion of Control (25MB .pdf) back in November 2015. The introductory post is here. It also includes detailed discussions of El Niño events and their aftereffects in Chapter 3.7…though not as detailed as in Who Turned on the Heat?