Upcoming La Nina Winter: Cooler and Wetter than Normal

From The Cliff Mass Weather Blog

There comes a point during mid-summer when the veil of uncertainty lifts regarding the nature of the upcoming winter season and we are at that point now.

The key tool for seasonal forecasting in our region is the correlation between El Nino (warmer than normal water in the tropical Pacific) and La Nina (the opposite) and the large-scale weather circulation over our region.    El Nino years tend to bring our region warm/drier conditions with a lower than normal snowpack. La Nina years tend to be cooler/wetter and are the periods skiers dream of.

Interestingly, there is a spring predictability barrier for such forecasts, with forecast skill increasingly greatly during the summer (see figure below and NOAA discussion of this effect).  As you can see in the figure (which shows the skill in predicting El Nino/La Nina) by August, NOAA has almost achieved skill at the 80% level.    Good enough to share with all of you on this blog!

Let’s begin by looking at what is happening right now, viewing the key sea surface temperatures in the central tropical Pacific (showing the difference from normal, known as the SST anomaly).  The areas we use is called the Nino3.4 region.  

Wow…a big change occurred in May, going from warmer than normal ( El Nino) to cooler than normal (La Nina) conditions.

Model forecasts for this winter are highly suggestive of  strengthening of La Nina, which will continue into mid-winter.

As a result, the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is now suggesting a better than 50% chance of La Nina and very little chance of El Nino this winter (see below).

But what about the best extended forecasts in the world?  Those by the European Center?  As expected during a La Nina year, it is going for a wetter than normal winter (Dec-Feb)–see below.  Good for fish and water resources.

But what about temperature?  In La Nina years, the strongest correlations with our weather occurs after January 1st, so let’s look at the temperature anomaly (again, difference from normal) for January (see below).  Cooler than normal.  
So what does wetter and cooler than normal suggest to you?  Good snow accumulations in January.

Now I don’t know whether the ski areas will be operating in January due to COVID-19 (if people stay outdoors in the fresh air, it might be safe enough, as long as no indoor eating/drinking/congregation areas are open).  But if they are open, this might be the year to take a chance on a season’s pass.

But no guarantees, of course.  The El Nino/La Nina influence weights the “meteorological dice” but does not guarantee a perfect forecast of the upcoming winter’s weather.

95 thoughts on “Upcoming La Nina Winter: Cooler and Wetter than Normal

    • https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/05/27/claim-aussie-fire-chiefs-gagged-ordered-not-to-talk-about-climate-change/#comment-3004049

      Updating my post of 10May2020:

      Planting was ~one month across the Great Plains of North America for the past two years 2018 and 2019. In 2018 the growing season was warm and the crop recovered, but in 2019 there was a huge crop failure across the Great Plains; however the harvest was good in the USA East and South. In 2019 fully 30% of the huge USA corn crop was never planted because of wet ground. Much of the grain crop across the Great Plains was not harvested because of early cold and snow in the Fall.

      THE REAL CLIMATE CRISIS IS NOT GLOBAL WARMING, IT IS COOLING, AND IT MAY HAVE ALREADY STARTED
      By Allan M.R. MacRae and Joseph D’Aleo, October 27, 2019.

      Hope we have a good grain crop this year, but don’t bet on it. Here is why:

      The Nino 34 SST Anomaly has crashed from almost +0.7 on April 18th down to almost MINUS 0.6 on May 26th. a decline of ~1.2C. in 5 weeks.
      https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/ocean/nino34.png

      5. UAH LT Global Temperatures can be predicted ~4 months in the future with just two parameters:
      UAHLT (+4 months) = 0.2*Nino34Anomaly + 0.15 – 5*SatoGlobalAerosolOpticalDepth (Figs. 5a and 5b)

      CO2, GLOBAL WARMING, CLIMATE AND ENERGY
      by Allan M.R. MacRae, June 15, 2019.

      Four months from this rapid cooling of Nino34 SST’s is mid-August to mid-September 2020 – harvest time.
      No volcanoes needed – depending on future Nino34 SST’s, cooling may already be locked in.

      • The main grain crops, corn and soybeans, are already finishing off here in early Aug in Kansas. We’ve had rain at exactly the right times to generate a good harvest. Unless we get monsoons in the next two months thus preventing the combines from getting into the fields, this part of the Great Plains should have a bumper crop. Maybe not a record but very good.

        An early cold and snow can hurt the corn by breaking over stalks and putting the corn on the ground where it is hard to pick up. Soybeans don’t usually suffer that way. In fact, if the ground freezes then the combines can still harvest the soybeans with snow on the ground. Again, it is heavy rain in the next couple of months that is to be feared. Finished crops don’t suck the moisture from the soil very well and the combines can be mired in mud until the ground freezes. Got my fingers crossed!

    • “the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is now suggesting a better than 50% chance of La Nina”

      “The current forecast, a 50-55% chance of La Niña, is not a very strong probability. There is still about a 40-45% chance that neutral conditions will remain through the fall and winter, and a smaller but non-zero chance of El Niño—around 5-10%.”

      https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/july-2020-enso-update-la-ni%C3%B1a-watch

    • Here in south-central New England, our winter weather follows the same pattern. I forecast the same, cold and average to above snowfall. The last five winters have been notably mild and free of snow accumulation. You remember the persistent El Nino conditions and the multi-year “Blob” in the north Pacific. Those days are over for now, along with the mild winters. We expect a return to average and then some.
      For Toronto, I suspect your conditions will be similar to what we get in New England.

      You know the drill to get ready. Oil change, air filter, clean spark plug and a spare. Spare shear pins if needed. Neighborhood kids with shovels if all else fails.
      Do not let your snow blower try to eat rolled up newspapers or door mats. It just does not work out.

      • I have a gravel driveway so no newspaper or door mats but wonderful projectiles hurling into the air.

        BTW- you tube has a video on how to increase the throw of the blower. Add pads to the impeller which gives a close fit between them and the barrel so no more gravel and increased distance for the throw. Even better, it works even in slush where I would have to stop frequently to clean out the discharge chute.

    • In what part of Toronto do you live? When I lived there I resided in East York, near Pape & Cosburn. I now live on the south coast of New South Wales. We are presently experiencing heavy rain, wonderful after several years of drought and the bush fires early in the year!
      John

    • Yes. More snow and colder temperatures, if the the La Nina event occurs based on past La Nina events.

      http://www.ocgy.ubc.ca/projects/clim.pred/enso.canada.html

      In the case of the cold La Niña event– the opposite of the warm El Niño event– the coastal waters off British Columbia tend to be cool.

      In a La Niña winter, the Canadian air temperature (especially west of Quebec) tends to be below normal (Hoerling et al., 1997; Shabbar and Khandekar, 1996), while the precipitation in southern Canada tends to be above normal (Shabbar et al., 1997).

      Southern British Columbia tends to receive more snow (Hsieh and Tang, 1999).

      Poor Canadian prairie wheat harvests often follow La Niña events (Garnett and Khandekar, 1992; Hsieh et al., 1999).

  1. “Now I don’t know whether the ski areas will be operating in January due to COVID-19…”

    Maybe I’m a little too cynical but, I’m beginning to believe the WuFlu crises will be over by December.

    • Biden wins, they don’t need it any longer. Biden loses, they do at least still have the brains to know that they can’t keep it up until 2022 without a run on tar and feathers.

      (Now, if Biden loses, but they keep the House, the “investigation” of how the pandemic was handled will go on. My prediction is that there will be three more shampeachments over the next two years.)

      • I highly doubt the O’Biden-Bama Senate run will come close to a victory for president and the D will lose the House. The evidence is already mounting for a red wave, CA 25th district special election went to a Republican by double digits and it’s the first time a R has had that seat since 1998. The #walkaway movement has seriously damaged The Party and now this obvious attempt to sabotage the economy is killing them.

    • The WuFlu was done a couple of months ago when the flu season ended. Increased testing with crappy tests have created the myth that the virus is still spreading. It was in Nebraska in December and January. The tests are so nonspecific that we will never see positive results go to zero. Until we recognize the tests are crap the governments and politicians will keep up their dictatorial habits, pretending there is a killer virus out there lurking. It’s a scandemic and Gas-Lighting of the public.

      • That is why you go with “total/excess” deaths. It is the one number they have a real hard time “adjusting” because you need an actual death.

        That said Nobel-laureate Dr. Michael Levitt (Chemistry and structural biology at Stanford) has made another prediction and it’s a good news one!

        July 25, 2020: “US COVID19 will be done in 4 weeks [Aug 25] with total reported deaths below 170,000. How will we know it is over? Like for Europe, when all cause excess deaths are at normal level for week. Reported COVID19 deaths may continue after 25 Aug. & reported cases will, but it will be over.”

        Now past performance doesn’t guarantee future results but at least he was correct on his previous predictions unlike the “experts” the governments are mindlessly following.

        The CDC is now showing “total/excess” deaths so we can all track it here. Scroll down to the chart:

        https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

        • Posted end June 2020:
          bizpacreview.com/2020/06/28/bidens-bad-day-confuses-obama-with-trump-loses-place-in-middle-of-answer-i-cant-remember-940153

          Covid-19 will be essentially gone in Europe and North America by end-July to end-August, based on total deaths data.
          Europe Deaths peaked in Week 14 – 30March-5April2020.
          USA Daily Deaths peaked on 21April2020.
          Canada Daily Deaths peaked on 1May2020.
          The Covid-19 data is typically of poor quality – total deaths is the best analytical parameter.
          The report of “increased cases” is driven by more testing.
          worldometers.info/coronavirus/
          euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/

          Posted 3August2020

          I am fairly certain that the number of COVID-19 deaths reported in the USA is greatly exaggerated, especially in recent weeks. Please refer to the website worldometers.
          That website shows that COVID-19 deaths in Canada are now approaching near zero. There is no reason to believe that the USA is materially different from Canada or Europe.
          COVID-19 is dying out in Europe according to the website Euromomo, again looking at COVID-19 total deaths.
          I conclude that COVID-19 will be essentially gone in Europe and North America by the end of August 2020, without the use of a Flu vaccine.
          Actions such as physical distancing in the use of masks will simply delay the onset of herd immunity, which is the only way that flus such as COVID-19 have ever died out.

          One more comment:
          All this masking and social distancing (counterproductive suppression of herd immunity) raises the possibility that Covid-19 will survive into the next flu season. That would complete the debacle – the total mismanagement by health authorities of a relatively mild flu, really only dangerous to the elderly and infirm and not to the workforce and children – a disastrous multi-trillion-dollar over-reaction to a less-than-average-dangerous seasonal flu.

          • I (and Willis) independently called Covid-19 correctly on 21Mar2020 – NO FULL-GULAG LOCKDOWN!!! Could have saved you a few trillion dollars, and avoided the economic destruction of zillions of small businesses and the young people who are employed by them.

            FFS good people – please LISTEN to your old uncle Allan who cares for you and wants the best for you. By now you should realize that the wolves (the leftist politicians and their minions) are stampeding the sheep to the slaughter, and you are those sheep.

            Also for the record, the entire global warming/climate change/green energy story was another total scam: There is no global warming/climate crisis and green energy isn’t green and produces very little useful (dispatchable) energy. We published that in 2002, 18 years ago. The Green New Deal will destroy your economy AND it will harm the environment.

            You can safely disregard every smarmy claim by the mainstream media about the environment – it’s always been a smokescreen for their leftist objectives. In fact, save yourself time and disregard everything they say.

            Regards, Allan MacRae

            SWEDEN, MOCKED FOR AVOIDING LOCKDOWNS, NOW ON FAST TRACK TO BECOME FIRST HERD IMMUNIZED NATION
            August 9, 2020 | Vivek Saxena
            https://www.bizpacreview.com/2020/08/09/sweden-mocked-for-avoiding-lockdowns-now-on-fast-track-to-become-first-herd-immunized-nation-957841
            [excerpt]
            Despite boasting the most lenient coronavirus restrictions in the globe, it appears Sweden is now on a fast track to become the first herd immunized nation.

            According to the Daily Mail’s Ian Birrell, a former deputy editor for The Independent and speechwriter for David Cameron, the evidence can be found in the data.

            “Anna Mia Ekstrom, a clinical doctor and professor of global infectious disease epidemiology at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet, said the key was to look at trends showing Sweden’s steady decline in cases and deaths since their peak in mid-April,” he reported Saturday.

            “Prof Ekstrom believes Stockholm, currently down to ‘two or three’ patients in intensive care in its infectious disease hospitals, may be coming close to herd immunity as shown by the sustained fall in critically ill patients and fatalities – and that this is a consequence of avoiding lockdown.”

            It’s therefore a consequence of Sweden avoiding the economically disastrous lockdown policies that have been applied by nearly every country on Earth, including the United States, where left-wing governors like North Carolina’s Roy Cooper have come to believe that the key to defeating the coronavirus lies in keeping people perpetually locked down.

          • Well, the US does have a lot more black people, and they seem to be more likely to die of the China Virus…

    • No, but there is a forecast that the CV19 bug will return in 2021 and 2022, so don’t get too smug about it. It’s still a nasty little thing.

      This: Wow…a big change occurred in May, going from warmer than normal ( El Nino) to cooler than normal (La Nina) conditions. — article

      Okay, I will still running my furnace in July; shut it off around July 10 – something like that. Then the weather got briefly hot and just as quickly dropped back to cooler air (mid-July to early August) and now the National Weather Service forecast for the coming week (N.E. IL) is cool daytime, chilly at night. This keeps changing to something even chillier than the prior forecast, but I”m unable to figure out if Lake Michigan is the cause of the chillier weather or if it’s the jet stream. (Blanket at night in August? Not until this past week.)

      Something is definitely happening. Please keep a weather eye on it (pun intended) and give us some follow-ups.

      And that blue bird graphic on the ECMWF map? Is that a raven as a harbinger of something coming down the road?

      Just askin’. Enjoying the weather but I wish it would rain.

      • Where were these forecasts from? The same computers that have told everyone on the planet that we are going to burn up. Why do people hold up forecast like they are the holy grail. forget forecast and look for yourself.

      • No, they didn’t come from computers. They came from someone who is more observant than the people who sit at desks and run computers all day long. Remember, the Spanish flu had two episodes that afflicted the US population and stuck around until it ran its course. That’s the basis for that projection. It has a lot to do with the human need to be in groups, and not be isolated from each other. It’s the grouping together, the need for human contact – tribal thing – that contributes to the spread.

    • Since the SARS-CoV-2 virus seems to mostly be spread by aerosols, restaurants and bars are anathema- unless furnished with nearly 100% fresh makeup air. Expensive, but easier to doin winter than summer.
      I have said (100 times?) that I will enter the first restaurant I see that says “we use 100% makeup air.” I have since noticed (and that one Chinese restaurant report “proves”) that the problem is as much distribution of air across the living space.
      Our church has inlet air on the left, and return on the right. I have recommended to the session that they consider biasing siting to the inlet side.
      Ski away! – in Fresh Air.

  2. The tropics are caught between the overlapping effects of low old solar cycle activity and the just beginning new cycle activity. While I no longer expect a new cycle onset El Nino for this year because of the enduring low activity and slow SC25 start, I think more continued new cycle activity could keep a budding La Nina at bay.

    Cold water from the Antarctica region has been infiltrating into the Nino12 region along South America all year, most likely a consequence of melting from the last Nino warm pulse.

    • There was a change in surface wind patterns to the west of the tip of South America back around mid 2016. I made note of that at the time in a comment at that time. I stated that if this pattern holds then it would gradually lead to a cooling which would travel north up the coast of South America. That is exactly what has happened. It was at that point when I started saving daily screenshots from earthnull of that spot. I have a daily record of that area ever since then which tells the story in screenshots.

      • Goldminor
        What was the change in the wind pattern you observed, and any idea of the reason.

        • The change was that prior to mid 2016 the typical surface wind pattern down there would push warm air southeasterly through Drakes Passage from a northerly point as high as 20 degrees south latitude. At least just about every time where I would look at that region that is what I would see. Those winds mainly went directly through Drakes Passage.

          Then I noticed a shift where the surface winds in this region started moving due east directly into South America. A portion of those winds then started moving north up the west coast of SA just above the tip of SA. After observing this for several weeks it dawned on me that I was witnessing a real change that might well continue on for some time, and that is exactly what has happened to this day. This is the spot which I have been observing ever since then … https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=temp/orthographic=-83.23,-39.22,672/loc=-85.480,-40.647

          The consequences of the change was that the surface winds were pushing cold air from the south off of Antarctica which would then move up the west side of SA. It also meant that the warm air flow moving to the southeast was ended. I reasoned that this would also gradually mean a change in colder surface waters also moving north up the coast due to the change in the surface winds.

          As to the reason why, I would hazard a guess that it has to do with my concept of excess sunspots in a given hemisphere of the sun driving temp changes in the ENSO region with the mechanism or part of the mechanism being that this leads to a change in wind patterns, and maybe overall pressure changes in the atmosphere which could cause surface winds to be redirected. That is as good as a guess as I can muster.

        • goldminor, I have a question about the moisture load in those winds. Do you have any data of any kind on that?
          It may sound unconnected to all this, but the ski resorts in Chile and Argentina are reporting thin to good depth in their base layers as of Aug. 5. In New Zealand, which is far from those shores, the base layers at some resorts are as much as 5++ feet deep and expecting more snow, which is brought in on the winds from the Pacific.
          If it means anything, the deeper the base layers at the start of the snow season, the more water there is available when it melts. That’s why I’m asking about it, not because I ski (I don’t).

      • Good observation, you were right. In 2014/15 I established my decadal solar-ocean warming/cooling threshold of 120 sfu F10.7cm flux, 94 v2SN, and 1361.25 W/m^2 SORCE TSI, and in March 2016 was very pleased to see the tropics conform [see inset (i)]:

        https://i.postimg.cc/kXrsDC3k/AGU-Fig10.jpg

        Is there going to be a movie of your screenshots? Gridded SST data would show it too.

        • I should do a WP post because the visual is a great way to grasp the change. I suppose that I could also do a movie. Although I will have to spend a bit of time probably to get the hang of doing that. My overall computer savvy skills are limited as the only reason why I got a computer in the first place was so that I could play the great PC games made for computers. It is somewhat amazing that I ended up here.

  3. Charles – You shouldn’t ignore your Southern Hemisphere readers. Here in Queensland we could do with some good news on rain too, and La Niña is supposed to be associated with more rainfall here too. Strange, though, that colder oceans would lead to more rain.

    • How many stories on the Great Barrier Reef, temperature records at Darwin Station, Peter Ridd, and the Ship of Fools do you need?

      • I was asking for La Niña info Charles – no need to get snippy, the request was pretty clear in my comment. Australia is strongly affected by this system too.

    • Charles – How about Europe too? (Or if Canada is too far away to forecast does that mean anything beyond the US Coastal Limit is not even worth considering? Perhaps a world map showing the US surrounded by water and the narrative “here be dragons and sea serpents” and a ruddy-cheeked Neptune with a trident blowing swirling winds….)

    • This was written by Cliff Mass of Seattle Washington.
      The main geographic area of interest is Washington State west of the Cascades and the main interest is weather. With expansion as he decides.

      World wide the amount of precipitation likely doesn’t change much.
      As in retail business, it is location, location, location. The ENSO La Niña / El Niño
      phenomena changes world-wide circulation patterns.

    • hefty rains fcast for the lower sw of Q the next few days coming
      lets hope!
      nsw flooding right nw amazing what an ENSO drift to the neg near.5 does
      thats when we got the last decent falls too then it drifted to neutral;-(
      lower SW Vic is dry though 4mm all week but damn its been cold 9c day on friday
      earlier rains got good crops up dribbles keep it going but a decent 25 to 50mm would set us up properly.

  4. The sunspots are still favoring the northern hemisphere. As I have mentioned before that means negative conditions in the ENSO regions. As sunspots increase through the rest of this year the 3.4 region is going to head into a deep La Nina as long as the northern hemisphere of the sun holds the greater number of sunspots.

        • goldminor,
          Oh, you mean that single tiny sunspot labeled “2770” in the photo of the sun’s disk for 09 Aug 2020, given at the spaceweather.com link you provided. You mean that sunspot?

          BTW, the same webpage labels that as “Sunspot number 11” of solar cycle 25.

          Furthermore, it gives the following key historical information for the total number of SPOTLESS days:
          2020, year-to-date: 153 days (70%)
          2019: 281 days (77%)
          2018: 221 days (61%)
          —and for comparison—
          2016: 32 days (9%)
          2015: 0 days (0%)

          Color me impressed, NOT.

    • ???? What kind of voodoo science is that????
      So the equatorial Pacific count sunspots to arc minute accuracy?

      • This is my voodoo science. My base concept is that the excess sunspots in a given hemisphere lead to temp changes in the ENSO region. I came across this by melding the chart of the MEI with the Silso excess sunspot on my inner blackboard. It took quite awhile to grasp how this fit together, but I finally developed a reasonably good picture of it over the years. The beginning of this was that it appeared obvious to me as well as to others around here that there was some connection between sunspots and temp changes on our planet. But it was a very elusive connection to make. It would look good for a bit, and then the correlation would break off. I gave up several times over the years thinking that I was fooling myself. Then on a 3rd try at cracking this I finally realized that the correlation had to do with what hemisphere of the sun had the greater amount of sunspots.

        The question is am I seeing this correctly. So here is some interesting recent observations which I have been meaning to detail lately. Right at the end of April and into early May A sunspot group appeared in the northern hemisphere. Look at what happend in the 3.4 region in the beginnoing of May. yemps started dropping in the 3.4 region, … https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/ocean/nino34.png

        Now follow the 3.4 graph down to the end of May where there is an uptick in temps in the 3.4 region. On the 4th of June a sunspot came into view in the south, and spent 12 days crossing in the souhern hemisphere. Note how temps in the 3.4 region once again rise into positive numbers. Then on the 5th of June a northern sunspot appears, and by the 11th of June the 3.4 region starts cooling. That sunspot only lasts for 3 days before fadin away, temps stop dropping in the 3.4 region and move sideways for a week+ before spiking back up around the 22nd of June as another southern sunspot appears.

        On the 29th a fairly large sunspot group appears back in the north, then a second group appears in the north, and as you can see from the 3.4 graph temps have steadily dropped once again. I had never realized that I could use daily sunspot info to assess these changes. The Silso excess chart is a 13 month smoothed chart. That means that I was not able to assess where things stood in the present until someone over at Spaceweathe Live pointed out to me that I can view the daily changes here. Sislo’s excess ssn chart is only showing up to December 2019 at the moment, … https://www.spaceweatherlive.com/en/archive/2020/08/08/dayobs

        And much to my surprise I think that this shows that there is a fairly quick response to changes in sunspot positions and temp changes in the 3.4 region. This is pretty exciting as it brings my concept up to the point where temp changes in the the 3.4 region can be readily assessed according to this method. How is that for voodoo science? I have been thinking of writing a WP post which I will name “Waiting for the Sun”. Fortunately for me I inherited my mother’s patience.

        • And much to my surprise I think that this shows that there is a fairly quick response to changes in sunspot positions and temp changes in the 3.4 region. This is pretty exciting as it brings my concept up to the point where temp changes in the the 3.4 region can be readily assessed according to this method. How is that for voodoo science?

          Some of your voodoo science is real:

          https://i.postimg.cc/C1HMxgJw/CDAS-Nino34-TSI-early-2017.jpg

          You identified the source (sunspots) of the mechanism (TSI) I’ve talked about for 5+ years.

          • The “voodoo science” of goldminor is a lot better than this from “settled science” representants f.e. at the German PIK with Schellnhuber and Rahmstorf, the true Voodoo priests and witch hunters having predicted El Niño for the coming autumn.

          • My original understanding of this came to me in late 2014. I then put together this very convoluted WP post trying to explain what I was seeing, … https://goldminor.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/my-analysis-of-the-sunoceanenso-connection/

            It was only after 2018 when I finally fleshed out a better understanding of the total picture. That came about from my being puzzled as to why I had been wrong on my ENSO prediction where I had expected a strong La Nina to develop back then. The La Nina did not form up, and that eventually led me to grasp that it was not simply a matter of northern sunspots means cooling and southern sunspots mean warming.

            I now see that excess northern sunspots equal cooling when there is an adequate number of them for a long enough period in terms of causing a La Nina to form up. The reason why a strong La Nina does not form up in 2018 is that the north excess disappears briefly right at the beginning of 2018. That is enough to break the la Nina which was developing at that time, and the 3.4 region goes neutral. Even though Silso then shows the north as being dominant after that there is no further devlopment of the La Nina because there are hardly any sunspots after that point in time, and the sun is well into its minimal extent from early in 2018 through 2019. … http://www.sidc.be/images/wnosuf.png

            ENSO neutral consists of sunspots being fairly evenly distributed between the hemispheres of the sun, and/or minimal sunspots during the heart of the solar minimum. An El Nino of any size forms up when the south becomes strongly dominant in excess sunspots, and the opposite holds true for a la Nina.

          • Without better evidence I would caution against promoting this part of your hypothesis because the difference I showed you that looks real may actually be an artefact of the size and distribution of sunspots vs areas hemispherically, a variance that could potentially be explained away down to zero, and as Major O’Bryan inferred, the sun is practically a point source from the ocean’s POV.

          • If what you say is true with your last comment, then there should be an obvious discontinuity to my claims of correlation which would be obvious to me.

            So here is the rub of all of this back and forth from my perspective. I have reached my limits in being able to explain the concept as I am absent the higher learning/maths skills to engage further than what I have already described. The only recourse for me at this point in time is to patiently wait for the sun and nature to either prove or disprove my contention. However, being that here we are at the beginning of a new solar cycle the concept should be relatively easy to follow for all of us to see what happens.

            It will work like this. If sunspots remain dominant in the northern hemisphere as I expect them to for now, then the 3.4 region should continue to move downward into negative numbers. When the southern hemisphere of the sun eventually regains dominance for a short time, then we should all see 3.4 temps reverse course and warm to some degree. When the north regains dominance we should all see temps in the 3.4 region eventually drop once again after a short delay. At any point in time where there is a switch in sunspot hemisphere dominance, then there should be a corresponding temp change in the 3.4 region. It is that simple. It is an either/or scenario. Either it does, or it doesn’t follow such a pattern. Only time will tell this story in a more definitive manner.

          • @goldminor About face – here is confirmation of your hypothesis:

            https://i.postimg.cc/nrJ5fR39/CCFs-of-North-v-South-SN-v-MEI-and-Nino34.jpg

            What this means is the solar southern hemisphere TSI is more geo-effective than the north in spite of southern vs northern sunspot activity having next to no overall effect on TSI. Interesting.

            I was expecting to bring you more bad news, but the facts are the facts. Just remember who took the time to objectively prove/disprove your points for you 😉

          • @ Bob …thanks for doing that. I do not have the necessary skill to do similar which leaves me only the one option of verbally trying to paint the picture. As you and everyone should be able to tell by now I am very confident that this is a true correlation. As I had said earlier anyone can now follow this concept on their own simply by keeping track of the daily sunspots as they ramp up, and compare that process with changes in the 3.4 region using any ENSO tracker. There is a lag from the sun to the oceans. It does seem to vary a bit, but that is not surprsing as there are obviously mechanical effects incolved which can affect the ENSO regions outside of solar input.

            Yo hazard a guess as to the mechanisms involved between this phenomenon I would think that the magnetic field of the sun should be of interest in its interactions with the magnetic field of our planet. While I was still in the early days of reading climate related material at Newsvine, and before switching over to WUWT. I had voiced the question “How much interaction is there between the two magnetic fields, sun and Earth. I said that as I had an early impression that this might have some sigificance. At the time everyone on Newsvine said “Impossible, and how would that work”. Some years later I noticed that some people were discussing that very same thought. I always had an odd way of finding my way to the heart of a given subject at times even with only having limited understanding of the details. It does make some sense though as there are only so many ways in which the sun can interact with the earth; ie: gravitational force, magnetic fields, radiative input. It could be possible that there is a change in radiative output such as UV/EUV. Isn’t that the main wavelengths which penetrate deep into the oceans? These are matters for those with the needed skills to properly assess the potential connectivity such as yourself and the many others on this site who have such capabilities. From my perspective these clues should aid science in making further determinations of the complete science of “How does this actually work, if it is a true correlation”.

          • The magnetic field and solar wind are not the direct mechanisms, TSI is, as my work demonstrates the tropical ocean absorbs more energy when TSI is higher at the top of the cycle driving decadal SST increases.

            https://i.postimg.cc/MGcCmvzV/Fig-17-SC24-maximum-impact-on-OHC.jpg

            It could be possible that there is a change in radiative output such as UV/EUV. Isn’t that the main wavelengths which penetrate deep into the oceans?

            The ocean blue/green because they are the wavelengths most absorbed, not purple UV. The bulk of solar-activity induced energy changes occur in the blue-green.

            https://i.postimg.cc/c40M0fCr/light-penetration-ocean.jpg

            Lastly, I corrected the label values which were backwards on the original on this image, which indicates we aren’t quite as low in solar long-term effect on the tropics as the 1954 minimum period, 87.3 to 86.2, with the tropical threshold at 87:

            https://i.postimg.cc/RFm5XCnK/2020-vs-1954-30y-v2-SN.jpg

            Yes, the solar wind and magnetic fields are connected to the earth – but also to solar activity which drives TSI, the actual mechanism for warming/cooling the ocean, which drives climate change.

    • While I think the change in atmospheric patterns you report are likely related to the change in conditions I also have problems with your hemispheric sunspot hypothesis.

      The Sun occupies a very small part of the sky and sends towards the Earth lots of energy, mass and momentum. The only change in a sunspot for being in one hemisphere or the other is its reverse polarity. That’s just the orientation of the magnetic lines that go between a pair of sunspots. I fail to see how that could translate into anything that could affect weather patterns in a big way on Earth. But even then the polarity of the sunspots at each hemisphere reverses from cycle to cycle.

      Don’t forget that correlation does not imply causation. And at the very least if you want to show correlation you should show the statistics that prove it, not just a graph.

      I did a Montecarlo analysis to prove that the solar minimum is associated to El Niño conditions and increasing solar activity (regardless of hemisphere) at around 1 year after the minimum is associated to La Niña conditions. The statistical analysis shows that this correlation is very unlikely (<0.05) to be due to chance.

      That solar activity affects ENSO has been shown for over 20 years. Theodor Landscheidt used to predict ENSO using solar activity.
      Landscheidt, T., 2000. Solar forcing of El Niño and La Niña. In The solar cycle and terrestrial climate, solar and space weather (Vol. 463, p. 135).

      Other authors have predicted this coming Niña based on solar activity:
      Leamon, R.J. and McIntosh, S.W., 2017. Predicting the La Niña of 2020-21: Termination of Solar Cycles and Correlated Variance in Solar and Atmospheric Variability. AGUFM, 2017, pp.SH42A-05.

      So it appears that the hemispheric location of sunspots is not required. The available evidence points towards the increase in solar activity driving the shift to La Niña conditions in the Pacific. There are several hypotheses about how the Sun does this, from solar wind to TSI, atmospheric changes and even changes in the Earth’s rotation speed, although not much has been published on this issue.

      • The available evidence points towards the increase in solar activity driving the shift to La Niña conditions in the Pacific.

        The occurrence of La Nina conditions after the solar minimum gives the impression the new cycle activity is causing it, when actually it is the new cycle that will bring the tropics out of La Nina conditions that were previously established, already in the pipeline.

        The La Nina conditions are due to the ocean having given up it’s solar absorbed heat from the last cycle before the new solar cycle can warm it, as the new cycle TSI hasn’t changed much yet.

        https://i.postimg.cc/BvF2rZCJ/SN-v-N1234-CO2.jpg

        30y tropics correlates with 30y SN (p<.00001) with a 13y lag. We're now at the point where low solar activity over the last 13 years is finally starting to have its cooling effect.

        https://i.postimg.cc/Y2x9gkn8/Terminator-Window.jpg

        The Leamon-McIntosh terminator window ends at the average time solar cycles reach my sun-ocean decadal warming threshold of 94 (95 nominally) v2 SN, but today sunspots aren't even up to 10 SN per month yet, nowhere near 94, and won't likely reach 94 by the end of 2021, so today I think Leamon-McIntoshs' timing is going to be disrupted by the sun's timing just like mine. At the time of their paper they didn't know SC24 was going to peter out to 30 months of solar flux below 72 sfu.

        The net effect is the slow end to SC24 enhances La Nina possibilities, as does the SC25 slow start while both put off the timing of the bottom of the ongoing solar accumulation curve and the time of it's eventual rise to above the threshold.

        I predicted a low solar cooling period in Dec 2018 (needs an update) for 2021 +/- 1 year. Time shift the whole thing forward about 4-6 months and it's still valid:

        https://i.postimg.cc/wvJNP68n/AGU-Fig12.jpg

        By the time the sun has reached my threshold/the end of their terminator window, this should be much clearer to everyone.

          • A 2020 El Nino looked very good in January as Nino3 & 4 were high and it looked like the new SC25 was going to start:

            https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/ssta_c.gif

            In January there was ample reason to consider an El Nino for this year, but the lazy old sun just hasn’t gone along. The NOAA Spaceweather Prediction Center (SWPC) solar forecast in January predicted an upward sunspot trajectory for the year starting then. Every month thereafter they’ve continually dropped their forecasts downward until the last few were flat, and then last month they stopped posting that monthly prediction file, probably because their predictions were going south until lately.

            Since then the SWPC produced this prediction page, showing an uptick from now, indicated here in dotted lines:

            https://i.postimg.cc/DfjbKrNm/Solar-Cycle-Minimum-and-Start-of-SC25.jpg

            The bump into Feb 2010 that fired the ’09/10 El Nino hasn’t happened this time (yet).

          • The groundbreaking early forecast is based on a novel algorithm developed by the researchers, which is relies on a network analysis of air temperatures in the Pacific region and which correctly predicted the last two “El Niño” events more than a year in advance.
            […]
            “Conventional methods are unable to make a reliable ‘El Niño’ forecast more than six months in advance. With our method, we have roughly doubled the previous warning time,” stresses JLU physicist Armin Bunde, who initiated the development of the algorithm together with his former PhD student Josef Ludescher. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus of PIK, explains: “This clever combination of measured data and mathematics gives us unique insights – and we make these available to the people affected.” He points out that, of course, the prediction method does not offer one hundred percent certainty: “The probability of ‘El Niño’ coming in 2020 is around 80 percent. But that’s pretty significant.”

            Early warning: Physicists from Giessen, Potsdam and Tel Aviv forecast “El Niño” for 2020
            No question of sunspots, solar activity, nothing. That’s not what they are looking on.

          • Krishna I was only talking about my own prediction not theirs. I didn’t read their work.

            Please stop getting angry about this; I never care about what those people say anyway.

            I talked about it to provide continuity to my previous discussions and predictions, and I think it’s fair to say at least I provided very definite reasons why something will or won’t happen, not just a line on a graph like the ENSO prediction spaghetti plots are without explanation.

        • You have your TSI threshold hypothesis. Others have theirs.

          La Niña does not start at the same timepoint or sunspot point in every solar cycle. In SC19 La Niña started at the month of the solar minimum on April 1954. What is clear is that the Sun is not the only thing affecting ENSO, and given its complexity and the interaction of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that produce very different Niños and Niñas, your hypothesis looks simplistic. I personally don’t go any further than saying that the ENSO – Solar Cycle correlation is not due to chance. All the rest is at this time speculation.

          SC23-24 minimum and SC24-25 minimum are very similar.

          Leamon & McIntosh made in 2017 a published prediction for a La Niña in 2020-2021. So far the prediction appears good. If the termination of the solar magnetic bands takes place in late 2021 or early 2022 it is not hard to envision that Niña conditions might still be present. 2-year Niñas are not unusual.

          • What is clear is that the Sun is not the only thing affecting ENSO, and given its complexity and the interaction of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that produce very different Niños and Niñas, your hypothesis looks simplistic.

            I already said the ocean (via tropics) is falling now from the previous low cycle activity, which is all about the complexity of the ocean.

            https://i.postimg.cc/BvF2rZCJ/SN-v-N1234-CO2.jpg

            There is a 13yr tropical lag in the 30ya after 30y v2 SN, with 87 SN as the threshold.

            https://i.postimg.cc/VkcHMZyH/2020-vs-1954-30y-v2-SN.jpg

            In 2019 the last 13ya of the 30ya was 87.3, in 1954 it was at 86.2, which is somewhat comparable but we are still above the 87 13yr lagged SN-tropical threshold and as the SN is now rising the tropics likely won’t fall as far for as long as in 1954.

            The Leamon/McIntosh terminator window hypothesis can be thought of as overly simplistic, as it is based on average time periods, an average +/- 2.2 years from the solar minimum, not particularly the actual varying solar cycle energy levels that depend on sunspot activity, so there is error in that but I still think it’s a nice analytical tool.

            I have no qualms over a longish intermittent La Niña but we haven’t seen the beginning SC25 TSI spike, which I am saying will interfere with a La Niña whenever it happens. I’m not ruling out a return to El Niño conditions late in this year or next.

            Leamon/McIntosh have also predicted a strong solar cycle #25, with its attendant fast start, which will shorten any La Niña, and shorten the time for decadal warming to start after activity passes the threshold, and perhaps provide enough impetus for a cycle onset El Niño. It would take about 14 months for sunspots to surpass the SN threshold in order for SC25 to stay even with SC19, out to the 3rd qtr of 2021 for example.

            My main solar prediction though is for more decadal warming to start after the SN threshold is reached, which comes after their (and yours) La Niña.

          • Silso shows that all through that minimum of SC19 and into 1954 the excess sunspots were in the northern hemisphere. The northern hemisphere then stays dominant into late 1956. At the very same time the MEI shows a strong la Nina starting in early 1954 and lasting up to 1957. I can correlaye any point on the MEI using the Silso excess chart.

        • I appreciate the input although I am lagging a bit of late in getting my mind back into examining ideas such as yours or Javier’s ideas on this subject. A broken sleep routine leaves me often too tired to absorb what either of you are stating to where I could mount a reasonable argument in defense of my position, but I stick with my position because it looks to obvious to me at this point that the sunspots do drive change in the oceans in the manner which I claim.

          For every example of a given time/year of a temp shift in the 3.4 region there is a correspoding change in excess sunspots in the correct hemosphere which precedes that temp shift. I find that too compelling to let go of. That means that the only way forward for me is to continue to prove that I can correctly forecast the temp shifts in the 3.4 region with my forecasts. I think that given more time that this will make it clear to others that this is correct because all of you can now follow the changes on the sun in this respect, and then observe temp changes in the 3.4 region as a result.

          For example, below you state this “A 2020 El Nino looked very good in January as Nino3 & 4 were high and it looked like the new SC25 was going to start”. To me it was obvious that a negative ENSO was coming because of what Silso shows that the northern hemisphere was still dominant. The only thing holding up the further progression into negative temps was the overall lack of sunspots in the first half of this year. As a result of that we see ENSO neutral conditions, imo.

          • I stick with my position because it looks to obvious to me at this point that the sunspots do drive change in the oceans in the manner which I claim.

            We are not in disagreement here, and I’ve told you in so many ways that your position on tropical warming is also mine [solar activity drives the tropics], which I’ve supported repeatedly here for years, which I discovered in mid-2014 and ever since have used to develop a general solar theory, the basis for my first AGU and Sun-Climate Symposium poster contributions. Did you know that?

            https://i.postimg.cc/X7q7KtQY/Sunspot-Hemispheric-Difference.jpg

            I can produce the cross-correlations of north sunspots and MEI vs south sunspots and MEI. Would you like to see that?

      • @ Javier …the start of this idea came from observing Silso’s excess ssn graph and how it shows that all through the 1950s/60s the northern hemisphere of the sun was dominant. That correlates well with the cooling period from the late 1940s into the mid to late 1970s prior to global warming asserting itself. … http://www.sidc.be/images/wnosuf.png

        Then in mid to late 1970s the southern hemisphere of the sun becomes dominant and that correlates with global warming, imo. I see the next shift point around 2007/08 which is the switch back to a cooling trend. It then takes time for the excess heat in the oceans to bleed off. The MEI follows all of that with its temp shifts over time. A major part of all of this is a cyclical pattern on the sun which favors one hemisphere over the other for a period of around 30+ years. The northern hemisphere of the sun should remain dominant through into the late 2030s. Just as it was dominant for around 30 years from the late 1940s into the late 1970s. Only time will tell if this is right or not. I still see every shift of the Silso chart correlating with every shift of the MEI. I am writing up one more shorter version of the correlation just to show how this ties together, starting from 1968 and up to 1990.

        Thanks for the links. I will study them.

        • I still see every shift of the Silso chart correlating with every shift of the MEI.

          If I got this right “every shift” means two shifts in 70 years. So from two shifts loosely determined by eye in an hemispheric sunspot numbers graph you conclude that there is a 60-year cycle in sunspot hemispheric prevalence, and from all the climatic phenomena on Earth that presents the ~60-yr oscillation you choose ENSO and make it dependent on sunspots hemispheric asymmetry.

          I can only cite Sam Clemens: “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

          • By temp shifts I am talking about the real time temp change in the ENSO region as represented by the MEI, or by any other ENSO tracker such as the BOM. Sunspots favor one hemisphere over the other for a period of around 30 odd years, but that does not mean that the dominant solar hemisphere remains exclusively north or south. Right now the main pattern is in the orth, but groups can form up which will favor the south for a short period. When the south groups dominate for that short time watch the change in the 3.4 region towards warmer temps.

            I noticed that you mention that there are other influences affecting the ENSO regions. I also recognize that, but I can’t see how the correlation can be so exact across the entirety of the Silso/MEI graphs since 1950 unless this correlation is the major influencer of temp shifts in the 3.4 region. The only exceptions being the after effects of either a major La Nina or El Nino as gravity and the rotation of the planet exert their forces across the ENSO regions.

            Pick any time point of a temp change in the 3.4 region, and I will describe the interaction by the excess sunspot count in a given hemisphere.

          • I don’t doubt your capacity to explain everything, Goldminor, but science is not a belief system.

            It seems to me that if you have two phenomena that can be reflected in two series of numbers (hemispheric sunspots and MEI) and you want to prove that they correlate, the way to go is to do a correlation analysis.

            First thing would be to demonstrate that both series correlate and by how much. Without that you have nothing but a personal conviction.

          • @ Javier …I find it hard to grasp that 70 years of correlation between the two graphs does not hold some significance. Just about every twist and turn of the Silso translates to temp changes on the MEI graph over the 70 years of the graph. That would have to be the greatest coincidence in the world of science.

  5. Text sitting right above the fifth graph presented in the above article:
    “As a result, the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is now suggesting a better than 50% chance of La Nina and very little chance of El Nino this winter (see below).”

    Well, the winter months for Earth’s northern hemisphere are defined to be December, January and February. Reading the prediction for a La Nina (the vertical dark blue bar) for “DJF” in the referenced graph, I get 50.5% probability . . . a teeny tiny bit higher than flipping a coin and calling it correctly.

    Oh well.

  6. So no one should now be surprised when the drought-floods hit and the and flood-drought worsens in the Pacific NorthWest this winter. Capiche ?

  7. Thanks Charles and Cliff.
    I’m feeling more comfortable now about having bought early bird 20/21 ski season lift passes for Mt Washington BC.
    Great seniors discount prices.
    But weather is always a bit of a gamble.

  8. “Reading the prediction for a La Nina (the vertical dark blue bar) for “DJF” in the referenced graph, I get 50.5% probability . . . a teeny tiny bit higher than flipping a coin and calling it correctly.”

    Apparently there are three choices not two, La Nina , Neutral, and El Nino.
    The usual state is neutral and the other 2 would normally be about 25% perhaps?
    The gist is that 50% + is at least double the chance of having La Nina normally.
    It is not a flip of a coin.

    • ENSO models are not very good, so their predictions are not very good. The La Niña that occurs ~ 1 year after the solar minimum can be predicted with a much better chance years in advance. This coming Niña was predicted in 2017.

      Leamon, R.J. and McIntosh, S.W., 2017. Predicting the La Niña of 2020-21: Termination of Solar Cycles and Correlated Variance in Solar and Atmospheric Variability. AGUFM, 2017, pp.SH42A-05.

      I would say that the chances of a La Niña developing over 2020 fall – 2021 spring are well over 85 % based on Solar Activity – ENSO association in the past.

    • angech posted: “The usual state is neutral and the other 2 would normally be about 25% perhaps?”

      Not really. Just scroll up watching the right side of this screen until you find the “ENSO meter” graphic (it’s near the top). There you will see that two of the meter’s “boxes” are allocated to a ENSO reading of “neutral”, while five meter “boxes” are allocated to “La Nina” and another five “boxes” to “El Nino”. If the meter is proportioned linearly, the “neutral” range would be only 2/12, or about 17%, of the total range for ENSO index readings.

  9. Lots of little things happening with the ENSO and global temperature and even possibly ice extent coming up.
    The BOM Australia gives a detailed ENSO report every 2 weeks and is currently on La Nina watch expecting a La Nina.
    The 8 graph forecast spaghetti they put up
    Go to ENSO in the search bar BOM and then click Climate Driver update not ENSO outlook and go to Pacific Ocean where you will find these helpful ENSO links not shown in their ENSO outlook function
    Outlook Sea surface Sea sub–surface SOI Trade winds Cloudiness History About
    The 30-day Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) for the 30 days ending 2 August was +5.0 which is encouraging.

    Interestingly it is my belief that the BOM Australia has had the ENSO model showing the least likelihood of a La Nina whereas NOAA has been predicting one for a while. The BOM in Australia is passionately in favour of warming and adjusting data.

    Hope Peter Ridd wins the Supreme Court. Will depend on whether they go for justice or Political correctness, I guess.

  10. “But what about the best extended forecasts in the world?”

    Solar based predictions for the Arctic Oscillation, which should be tending positive during next January. A moderate new northeast Pacific warm blob has developed, if that lingers through to winter it will effect the atmospheric circulation patters.

  11. So, here we go with one more bit of correlation for my solar/oceans correlation. A large sunspot group appeared on the southeastern limb of the sun several days ago as the northern sunspot finishes up, and the Tropical Tidbits 3.4 graph showes an upturn in temps in the 3.4 region at the same time. The correlation continues apace. … https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/ocean/nino34.png

    • The sunspot which formed in the south earlier this week just faded away. Temps in the 3.4 region rose shortly after that sunspot appeared in the south. Temps in the 3.4 region have now stalled in their recent rise as that south sunspot disappeared. Stay tuned for further evidence of correlation. Imo, if there are no further sunspot groups for the next several days, then temps in the 3.4 region will stall out, maybe rise a bit further, until the next sunspot groups appear to drive temps either up or down.

  12. Note my comment from yesterday just above. Today’s TT 3.4 graph shows that temps moved sideways from yesterday after the sunspot in the south faded away. So temps in the 3.4 did stall out just as I suggested above. Another notch in my theory of the sun/oceans correlation.

  13. Two large quakes just struck in Indonesia a few hours ago. Right on the first day of the New Moon.

    Also a sunspot has just formed in the north and about 2/3rds of the way across the face of the sun. Let’s see if the 3.4 region shows a drop in temps by around the 22nd of this month.

    • A string of moderate quakes have struck in Willits Ca over the last 2 hours. This New Moon phase is an above average active one for quakes. These could be foreshocks for a much larger quake striking the Gorda Plate junction in the near future.

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