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Sleepy

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2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« on: December 30, 2015, 06:20:44 AM »
2015 has come to an end and the El Nino has peaked. The aftermath awakens- ;)
Since more and more posts concerns weird weather and also expected atmospheric responses in the northern hemisphere after the 2015 El Nino, I'll start my first thread.

Science is expecting the atmospheric response to be strongest during January-March, as that follows what have been concluded in the past. But atmospheric coupling has not been like in 97-98 and I would suspect that warming in general is playing a larger role now and it should affect the aftermath as well. So, how will the aftermath of this El Nino play out?

I'll start by reposting this link with a collection of older papers regarding ENSO effects in Europe.
https://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/papers-on-enso-effects-in-europe/
Europe and specifically Scandinavia is my personal interest, but feel free to post about ENSO related effects anywhere. And more recent papers of course.

A recent repost of this link from AER.
Arctic Oscillation Analysis and Forecasts
https://www.aer.com/science-research/climate-weather/arctic-oscillation

I'll quote the part regarding El Nino and MJO which should be familiar if you have followed the El Nino thread(s).
Figure 11 shows the weekly global sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. A strong El Niño is still apparent as equatorial eastern Pacific SSTs remain near record high levels, and both dynamical and statistical models continue to predict a strong El Niño for the duration of the winter. The SST anomalies have plateaued and are likely past their peak. Also of note, the models are predicting a fairly rapid weakening of El Niño through the winter months, which is fairly typical. The atmospheric response to El Niño is strongest in the months January-March and it will be interesting to see how closely the atmospheric response projects onto forecasts derived from a strong El Niño.   But at least as if on cue, the models are predicting a strong southerly Jet Stream across the Southern United States.  Another key feature in the North Pacific basin is the very warm waters in the eastern North Pacific and the north central North Pacific. It will be interesting to see if yet once again the warm temperatures in the eastern North Pacific can couple with atmospheric ridging, which is now predicted for early to mid-January.

Tropical convection is currently in moderate amplitude phase six (Figure 12) but is predicted to weaken significantly as it enters phases seven and especially eight. Phases seven and eight are associated with above normal geopotential heights in western North America, below normal geopotential heights in eastern North America and cold temperatures, therefore the MJO may help force a trough in the Eastern United States especially if it is stronger as predicted by the GFS model; though the GFS is currently not predicting stronger ridging in western North America than the ECMWF despite forecasting a much stronger MJO.


Figure 11 & 12 attached.

I don't interfere too much in the arctic sea ice threads but an important quote about that as well.
Arctic sea ice extent is expanding but continues to track well below normal (Figure 10).  The largest negative sea ice extent anomalies are almost exclusively in the Barents-Kara seas as sea ice extent is near normal on the North Pacific side of the Arctic.  With the strong advection of heat predicted into the North Atlantic side of the Arctic, we expect the trends in sea ice anomalies to continue.  This is in contrast to last year when the negative departures in sea ice were more extensive on the North Pacific side and less on the North Atlantic side.  As we anticipated, the negative sea ice anomalies in the Barents-Kara Seas region is favoring a northward shift of the positive geopotential height anomaly currently over Central Europe closer to the Barents-Kara Seas region.  In addition based on our recent research, low Arctic sea ice especially in the Barents-Kara Seas favors increased vertical energy transfer preferentially in January followed by a weakening of the polar vortex and eventually a negative winter AO.   Therefore the low Arctic sea ice increases our confidence in our expectations of further vertical atmospheric energy transfer, weakening of the polar vortex and a negative AO.

I've been told that the atmosphere from ~2000m above the pole and upwards should get colder in a warming world. When you have more heat going through thinner ice, and more heat pushing towards the north pole in the lower layers of the atmosphere, that's an amazing chimney in my mind. 2016 and 2017 will be really interesting regarding the sea ice minimum.

Trying to understand and visualize all of this chaos is almost absurd.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 12:41:57 PM by Neven »

LRC1962

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 07:19:40 AM »
Based on 'normal" El Nino temp charts, the North Pacific is cool and thee North Atlantic is warm. Based on the SST's as they are currently the opposite could be the case. How will the effect possible Highs and Lows in those areas? How will that affect the jet stream? How could that in the end effect the "normal" El Nino" weather patterns? Could it be possible the El Nino could restrengthen as there is obviously still a lot of heat still in the Pacific Ocean that has not been gotten rid of into the atmosphere?
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Sleepy

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 08:51:18 AM »
There's certainly a lot of questions to be answered in the coming months. Right now there are some more WWB's going on and it is possible that we will see a strengthening. But I think we have passed the peak.

If 97-98 was a fast express train, this one is like a slow and heavy freight train. Looking at the upper ocean conditions (first attachment) and specifically at the basin-wide heat anomalies it would be much more likely (in my mind) that this event will take some more time to taper off.

Also the corrected pdfs from CFSv2 are looking almost silly now, still indicating that steep drop in temperatures for January at 2° (corrected) vs 2.5° (uncorrected).

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2016, 03:49:39 PM »
The first two images are from the Nullschool for Jan 1 2016 for 850-hPa (elevation) Wind & Temperature - TPW, respectively, showing that tropical water vapor is carrying heat up the US West Coast to the Alaskan Gulf; that the SPCZ is well established, and that the WWB is relatively strong:

The third & fourth images are 5S-5N Wind Anom forecasts from the U at Albany from Jan 1 to 8, 2016 for 850-hPa, and 200-hPa, respectively; indicate both relatively strong WWB activity and that the Walker Cell is configured to support El Nino conditions.

The following Long Paddock Station SOI data shows that while the daily SOI supports El Nino conditions the 30-day moving average moved up as the numbers leaving the average are more negative than that entering the average:

Date           Tahiti     Darwin   Daily** 30 day avg SOI   90 day avg SOI

3 Dec 2015 1005.65 1011.10 -47.50        -6.08                  -15.01
 
...

1 Jan 2016  1006.69 1009.00 -32.50       -9.62                   -10.96

Finally, in the future I imagine that our current El Nino event will be known as the 2015-16 event, as El Nino conditions are guaranteed to last for some months to come.
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2016, 05:06:48 PM »
The attached NOAA GFS Ensemble MJO forecast from Jan 1 to 15, 2016 remains relatively bullish for atmospheric conditions supporting El Nino conditions, which might even support another downwelling phase of the EKW (possibly resulting in a secondary Nino 3.4 peak, well below the 2015 peak):
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2016, 03:46:10 AM »
Per the attached plot issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average has remained constant at -8.0 (which somewhat supports El Nino conditions):
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2016, 03:16:30 PM »
The first plot shows NOAA's Eq Pac Subsurface Temp Anom for Dec 29 2015, indicating that the downwelling phase of the EKW was still degrading up to that date.

The second NOAA plot of the Eq Pac Upper Ocean Heat Anom circa Jan 1 2016 indicates that the degradation of the downwelling phase of the EKW may have reached a temporary bottom (or plateau) at its lowest level since the Feb/March 2015 timeframe, and which may (or may not) start to increase due to the relatively high WWB currently occurring near the Dateline.

The third and fourth images projected for January 5, 2016 of the Earth 200-hPa Wind and TCW, & TPW, respectively, show the Asian Jetstream has reached California and that by Jan 5th 2016 light Pineapple Express rains may reach Southern California with the prospect of more waves of tropical rain event to follow due to the large gyre north of the equator near 120E (due to the high MJO forecast for that timeframe) that should be entraining precipitable water from the Philippines into the Asian Jetstream.

Edit: The third & fourth images also show a slowly weakening SPCZ event still exists around Jan 5th 2016
« Last Edit: January 02, 2016, 03:58:50 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2016, 04:33:42 PM »
More on the AO, from the Weird Weather thread:

New York Metro Weather gives a technical discussion of the massive change about to happen in the NH atmosphere, as the arctic cold currently bottled up near the pole faces a major disruption.
Thousands of miles away, forecast models are in great agreement that over the next few days, a tremendously anomalous ridge will develop through the Kara Sea. This ridge will quickly become the most dominant feature on the globe, especially in the mid levels of the atmosphere. It’s strength and presence will change the global circulations around it — and also force a disruption to the lower levels of the stratosphere.

Research on height records in the Kara sea during the months of December, January, and February shows that the GEFS are forecasting this ridge to be the strongest ever during this time period — by a fairly wide margin. Only a few years come remotely close to the strength of the forecasted ridge and heights in the mid levels of the atmosphere. This ridge will be a catalyst in setting off changes to the mid level atmospheric pattern.

As it develops, it will push northwestward toward the higher latitudes near the Pole, aiding in the development of some high latitude blocking. When juxtaposed with a ridge on the Western part of North America (which we will discuss shortly) it helps disrupt the polar vortex which had previously, for much of December, been quite stout and centralized.

https://www.nymetroweather.com/2015/12/29/warmth-on-borrowed-time-as-january-pa/
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2016, 04:42:24 PM »
The first & second attached images are from the U at Albany 5S-5N wind anom forecasts from Jan 2 to 9, 2016, for 850-hPa and 200-hPa, respectively.  These images show the current major WWB event continuing throughout the forecast period & that beginning in the second week of January both the WWB should strengthen & broaden eastward and also the Walker Cell should shift further into an El Nino pattern.
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2016, 02:17:43 AM »
Per the following data issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has moved down to -8.2:

20151203,20160101,-8.2


Edit: Attached is the associated plot
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 02:48:58 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2016, 05:55:28 PM »
The first two images show the U at Albany forecasts from Jan 3 to 10, 2016 for the 5S-5N 850-hPa, and the 200-hPa, Wind Anom, respectively.  These images both support the idea that a major WWB is developing and that the Walker Cell (for the period of the forecast) will increasingly favor El Nino conditions.

The second two images show Nullschool Earth TPW Maps for Jan 7, 2016, for 850-hPa Wind, and 250-hPa Wind, respectively.  These maps collectively show that:
(1) The Asian Jetstream will temporarily be disrupted by a high pressure system; which will delay significant Pineapple Express activity in California until later in the second week in January.
(2) Significant MJO activity will begin around the International Dateline, with associated high WWB activity and a Walker Cell configured to support El Nino reinforcement.
(3) A low pressure system near Tahiti will keep the daily SOI low (negative).
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2016, 02:39:16 AM »
Per the attached plot issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has continued dropping down to -8.4:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2016, 04:50:56 PM »
As DO has not posted yet, I provide the following comparison of select NOAA's Nino index data for the 1997-98 and the 2015-16 El Nino events.  This data shows that the Nino 3.4 for the week centered on Dec 30 2015 has remained constant at +2.7 and is still comparable to the 1997-98 event (expect the Nino 1&2 & 3 are weaker while the Nino 4 is stronger):

                       Nino1+2      Nino3        Nino34        Nino4
 Week             SST SSTA  SST SSTA   SST SSTA   SST SSTA

 05NOV1997     25.0 3.7     28.4 3.4     29.2 2.6     29.2 0.6
 12NOV1997     25.8 4.3     28.5 3.6     29.3 2.7     29.5 0.8
 19NOV1997     25.8 4.1     28.6 3.6     29.3 2.7     29.7 1.1
 26NOV1997     25.9 3.9     28.7 3.7     29.4 2.8     29.7 1.1
 03DEC1997     26.2 3.9     28.6 3.6     29.2 2.6     29.4 0.9
 10DEC1997     26.7 4.2     28.7 3.6     29.2 2.7     29.4 0.9
 17DEC1997     27.0 4.1     28.8 3.6     29.3 2.7     29.3 0.8
 24DEC1997     27.2 4.0     28.8 3.5     29.3 2.7     29.3 0.9
 31DEC1997     27.7 4.1     28.9 3.5     29.2 2.7     29.2 0.8

 
 04NOV2015     23.4 2.1     27.8 2.8     29.5 2.8     30.3 1.7
 11NOV2015     23.5 2.0     27.9 3.0     29.7 3.0     30.3 1.7
 18NOV2015     23.8 2.1     28.0 3.0     29.7 3.1     30.4 1.8
 25NOV2015     24.4 2.4     28.0 3.0     29.6 3.0     30.3 1.8
 02DEC2015     24.7 2.4     27.9 2.9     29.5 2.9     30.2 1.7
 09DEC2015     24.8 2.3     28.0 2.9     29.4 2.8     30.2 1.7
 16DEC2015     25.2 2.4     28.0 2.9     29.5 2.9     30.2 1.7
 23DEC2015     25.2 2.1     28.0 2.7     29.3 2.7     30.0 1.6
 30DEC2015     25.2 1.6     28.0 2.6     29.3 2.7     29.9 1.5

Furthermore, the first & second images were issued today by NOAA's NCEP for the Eq Pac Evolutions for the Upper-Ocean Heat Content, and the SSTA, respectively.  This data shows that the current EKW is in an upwelling trough and that NOAA has not yet identified any possible future downwelling phase.

The third image shows NOAA's GFS Ensemble MJO forecast from Jan 4 to 18 2016. which is particularly bullish for continued support of El Nino conditions.

The fourth image shows U at Albany's 5S-5N 850-hPa Wind Anom forecast from Jan 4 to 11 2016; which is also particularly bullish for a major WWB event associated with the major MJO event.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2016, 04:59:05 PM »
The first two images were issued today by the BoM for the week ending Jan 3 2016.  The first image shows that the Nino 3.4 index has dropped down to +2.20; and the second image shows that the IOD is now negative (which supports long-term degradation of El Nino conditions).

The third image shows the Nullschool Earth 850-hPa Wind & TPW forecast for Jan 8 2016, showing: (1) precipitation continuing to move from the Central Pacific to the US West Coast, with the possibility of Tropical water moving to the US West Coast by the end of the second week in January; (2) Strong WWB activity and (3) Continued negative SOI daily values.

The fourth image shows NASA's forecast for rain throughout California for Jan 4 2016, and I note that this precipitation was delivered by the Asian Jetstream
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2016, 05:03:33 PM »
The four attached plots were all issued today by the BoM for the Nino 1, 2, 3 and 4 indices, respectively, for the week ending Jan 3 2016.  All of these indices have dropped, indicating weakening of the current EKW.  However, note that the Nino 4 index remains relatively high, raising the prospect that the forecast high WWB activity could initiate another phase of downwelling for the current EKW.
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2016, 06:41:01 PM »
As DO normally provides the NOAA SSTA plot, I provide the attached plot for Jan 4 2016, indicating that the current El Nino event is not changing rapidly, but is slowly declining:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2016, 06:54:55 PM »
The two linked articles discuss possible links between the current strong El Nino and the North Atlantic extreme weather:

http://robertscribbler.com/2016/01/04/climate-change-and-el-nino-locked-in-tempestuous-embrace-teleconnection-between-hot-equatorial-pacific-and-north-atlantic-cool-pool/

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/27/uk-floods-and-extreme-global-weather-linked-to-el-nino-and-climate-change

Also, the following linked article discusses possible connections between the 1918-19 El Nino event and the Spanish Flu outbreak; which, raises the question about sickness occurring in those weakened in 2016 by drought associated with the current strong El Nino:

http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/pandemic_1918_1919.html
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2016, 07:58:14 PM »
I have read that the NCPE Ensemble MJO forecast is suppose to have a little bit more skill than the GFS Ensemble MJO forecast, so I attach the NCPE forecast from Jan 4 to 18 2016; & I note that it is only a little bit less bullish than the GFS forecast that I posted earlier:
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2016, 08:08:39 PM »
I haven't posted the Kyle MacRitchie Nino forecasts in a long time, so here is a link and an attached forecast issued Jan 4 2016, indicating a forecasted brief increase in the Nino 3.4 near the beginning of the third week in January 2016:

http://www.kylemacritchie.com/real-time-maps/ensosst-3-4/

Edit: Also note the forecasted increase in the Nino 1+2 index around the end of March 2016
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2016, 11:45:59 PM »
The ERSSTv4 monthly sea surface temperature anomaly for the Niño 3.4 region for December 2015 came in at +2.38°C (relative to baseline 1981-2010):

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/ersst4.nino.mth.81-10.ascii


Here are the monthly values for the last 12 months, and the corresponding values for 1997:

                Jan    Feb   Mar   Apr    May    Jun   Jul    Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec
1997       -0.55 -0.39 -0.33  0.17  0.56  1.09  1.44  1.74  1.98  2.25  2.33  2.20
2015         0.50  0.35  0.41  0.73  0.86  0.97  1.19  1.51  1.75  2.04  2.37  2.38



The Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) for October-November-December 2015  (3-month average) came in at +2.25°C:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/oni.ascii.txt


                DJF    JFM   FMA  MAM  AMJ   MJJ   JJA    JAS   ASO  SON  OND  NDJ
1997      -0.50 -0.42 -0.18  0.14  0.61  1.03  1.42  1.72  1.98  2.18  2.26  2.25
2015        0.52  0.43  0.50  0.67  0.86  1.01  1.23  1.48  1.76  2.04  2.25

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2016, 12:33:01 AM »
The attached plot downloaded on Jan 4 2016 compares the WWV in the Eastern and Western Pacific, through the end of 2015.  This plot makes it clear that the current El Nino event has taken less WWV from the Western Pacific than either the 83-84 or the 97-98 events; which raises the possibility/probability that the current major WWB still has more warm water available for it to push into the Eastern Pacific, thus possibly slowing the rate decline of the current El Nino (and possibly creating a secondary [lower] Nino 3.4 peak in the coming month or two):

Edit: Note that you need to slide the bar to the right to see the whole plot.
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2016, 03:09:20 AM »
Per the attached plot issued today by the BoM; the 30-day moving average SOI has continued dropping to -9.0, and looks set-up to continue dropping from some number of days/weeks:
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2016, 03:53:36 PM »
For those wondering, the El Nino induced conveyor belt of rainfall has officially begun for the US West Coast:

http://www.latimes.com/local/weather/la-me-el-nino-20160105-story.html

Extract: "At least four storms were brewing — the farthest still getting going in Asia — and all aimed at California.

It's this pattern, a series of back-to-back-to-back storms seemingly arriving on a conveyor belt, that concerns officials bracing for potential damage from the predicted winter of heavy rains.

"El Niño storms: it's steady, not spectacular. But it's relentless," said Bill Patzert, climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. "It's not 10 inches in 24 hours and nothing afterward. It's a 1-inch storm, a 2-inch storm, followed by a 1-inch storm, followed by a 2-inch storm.
 
"As this goes on for many weeks, then you start to soak the hillsides — then you get more instability. And then, instead of having 6 inches of mud running down your street or off the hillside behind your house, then you can get serious mudflows — 2 to 3 feet in height.""
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2016, 05:39:51 PM »
The first two images are of NOAA's NCPE, & GFS, Ensemble MJO forecasts from Jan 5 to 19 2016, respectively, both indicating strong support for El Nino conditions for this full two week period.

The third & fourth images are of the U at Albany's 5S-5N forecasts from Jan 5 to Jan 12, 2016 for the 850-hPa and the 200-hPa, Wind Anoms, respectively.  Both indicate strong support for El Nino conditions over this one week period:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2016, 05:44:29 PM »
The two attached image are from the Nullschool forecast for Jan 9, 2016, for the Earth 850-hPa & TPW, and the Earth 200-hPa & TPW, respectively.  Both indicate that air with high TPW content will be advected into the Asian Jetstream from the tropics, which might increase the associated rainfall hitting the US West Coast when this water traverses the Pacific towards the end of the second week in January 2016:

Edit: They also show a major WWB associated with the MJO being located near the Dateline at that time.
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2016, 06:24:40 PM »
As BigB use to like to post daily information from the Tropical Tidbits website, I offer the two attached plots downloaded from there today, first showing that the Nino 4 index went up today (I assume due to the current WWB), and second that while the North Pacific is cooling (thus reducing the value of the PDO), the South Pacific is warming (thus indicating that the IPO is either neutral or increasing):
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Steven

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2016, 08:01:55 PM »
The first two images are of NOAA's NCPE, & GFS, Ensemble MJO forecasts from Jan 5 to 19 2016, respectively, both indicating strong support for El Nino conditions for this full two week period.


For comparison, below is the ECMWF ensemble forecast, which suggests that the MJO index moves from phase 8 to phase 1 on approximately January 12th, 2016:



http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/CLIVAR/ecmf.shtml

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2016, 10:11:51 PM »
While MJO patterns can be relatively difficult to forecast, they tend to exhibit a circulation pattern as indicated in the attached cartoon at both 200-hPa and 850-hPa elevations.  Therefore, their location can be estimated by looking at the patterns shown in Nullschool's Earth Maps near those elevations as shown in the first and second images in Reply #24 for January 9, 2016 (which shows the center of the MJO pattern east of the International Dateline, as do the NCPE, GFS and the ECMWF MJO forecasts for that date).  It will be interesting to compare the Nullschool's to NOAA's to the European Centre's MJO location forecasts over the next few days.

Edit: Also, I note that the U at Albany WWB pattern shown in Reply #23 from Jan 5 to 12, 2016; hint that they feel that the MJO will stay near the international dateline through Jan 12, 2016.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2016, 10:18:44 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2016, 02:45:09 AM »
Per the attached plot issued today by the BoM; the 30-day moving average SOI has continued dropping down to -10.1:
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2016, 12:42:59 PM »
Sleepy, I've slightly adjusted your topic title, so that it can serve as the replacement for the old 2015 El Niño thread.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2016, 04:25:36 PM »
Per the following extract from the January 5 2016, BoM ENSO Overview, the second half of 2016 has something less than a 50% of having a neutral ENSO, with little chance of continuing El Nino conditions,  (Note the first plot shows the current BoM POAMA Nino 3.4 forecast starting Jan 3 2016, indicates neutral conditions until at least September 2016):

BoM ENSO Overview Extract: "Recent bursts of westerly winds over the equatorial western Pacific may temporarily slow the decline of El Niño.
Based on the 26 El Niño events since 1900, around 50% have been followed by a neutral year, while 40% have been followed by La Niña. Models also suggest neutral and La Niña are equally likely for the second half of 2016, with a repeat El Niño the least likely outcome
."

I have previously stated that I believe that our current El Nino event is much more like the 82-83 Super El Nino Event (which had neutral conditions in the second half of 1983) than the 97-98 event that was followed by a La Nina.  Indeed, the attached second image of the MEI plot shows a somewhat low Standardized MEI Departure for the Oct/Nov 2015 value due to relatively low atmospheric contributions in that timeframe.  However, the 3-Standardized MEI Departures for the 82-83 event did not occur until the Jan/Feb 1983 timeframe, and I believe that the current (2016) high WWB & MJO activity will raise the MEI values for January 2016 from what they have been.  Thus, the chances that the second half of 2016 having neutral ENSO conditions, may very well be more than 50%.

To support the ideas that the Jan 2016 atmospheric conditions will contribute to high MEI values, I offer:
A) The BoM currently indicates high cloud cover near the Equatorial Dateline.
B) The third & fourth images of the Nullschool forecast for January 10, 2016 for Earth 850-hPa Wind & TPW Map, and for Earth 250-hPa Wind & TPW Map, respectively.  In my opinion these show that the MJO is located close to where it was forecast to be on Jan 9, 2016 and is not moving rapidly eastward.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2016, 04:40:33 PM »
The first two images are from the U at Albany 5S-5N Wind Anom forecasts from Jan 6 to 13, 2016 for the 850-hPa, and 200-hPa, elevations respectively.  Both imply that the MJO will be near the International Dateline through the forecast period, with strong WWBs and Walker Cell conditions in an El Nino pattern.

The third image of a satellite photo for Jan 6 2016, shows strong cloud cover near the Eq Dateline.

The fourth image shows NOAA's GFS Ensemble MJO forecast from Jan 6 to 20, 2016, which indicates that the MJO may likely remain near the Dateline.
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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2016, 05:23:06 PM »
It will be interesting to compare the Nullschool's to NOAA's to the European Centre's MJO location forecasts over the next few days.


There is a side-by-side comparison of the GFS and ECMWF ensemble forecasts for the MJO index, on the webpage below (updated daily):

http://www.atmos.albany.edu/facstaff/roundy/waves/phasediags.html

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2016, 05:59:13 PM »
the attached second image of the MEI plot shows a somewhat low Standardized MEI Departure for the Oct/Nov 2015 value 


An updated version of that graph was just posted on the MEI website, up to Nov/Dec 2015:




http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/#discussion

Compared to last month, the updated (November-December) MEI has dropped slightly (by 0.19) to +2.12, continuing at the 3rd highest ranking, and about 0.3 sigma behind 1982 and 1997 for this season. The August-September 2015 value of +2.53 remains the third highest overall at any time of year since 1950. The evolution of the 2015 El Niño remains very similar to 1997, as monitored by the MEI, including a first peak in August-September and subsequent weakening during the remainder of the calendar year. In 1998, this was followed by a fairly strong rebound that peaked in late boreal winter 0.4 sigma higher than in Novemeber-December.

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Re: 2015 El Niño, the aftermath.
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2016, 06:01:25 PM »
It will be interesting to compare the Nullschool's to NOAA's to the European Centre's MJO location forecasts over the next few days.


There is a side-by-side comparison of the GFS and ECMWF ensemble forecasts for the MJO index, on the webpage below (updated daily):

http://www.atmos.albany.edu/facstaff/roundy/waves/phasediags.html


I notice that your link leads to Prof. Paul Roundy's website, and that Michael Ventrice (who I believe was one of Roundy's star students) now works in Europe.  Thus, I imagine that the US and European experts talk regularly to each other, and compare notes, and this will be a good test of the skill level in the different forecast systems.

However, I believe that the Roundy site compares the NCPE to the ECMF forecasts (see the labels below from the linked Clivar site).  However, I believe that what I have been calling the GFS Ensemble should be called the NCPB as it is bias-corrected and should better show NOAA's skill, and the ECMM included dependent model climatology and should better show the European Centre's skill.  So for the next few weeks I will post only the NCPB and the ECMM MJO forecast plots (while we are comparing system skill).

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/CLIVAR/clivar_wh.shtml

NCPE: National Centers for Environmental Prediction - Ensemble Global Forecast System
NCPB: National Centers for Environmental Prediction - Bias-Corrected Ensemble Global Forecast System
ECMF: European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts - Ensemble System
ECMM: European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts - Ensemble System (anomalies based on lead dependent model climatology)

Furthermore, as the NCPB & the ECMM both show the MJO centered a little bit east of the Dateline today, I provide the first two attached images of the Nullschool forecast for Jan 6 2016 for the 850-hPa & MSLP, and the 250-hPa & MSLP, Maps respectively; to show what these parameters look like when all parties agree where the MJO is located.

The NCPB forecast is thus the fourth image in Reply #31, while the ECMM MJO forecast from Jan 6 to 20 2016 is the third image in this post and the fourth image is the NCPE forecast for the same period.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2016, 06:08:00 PM »
ONI 2.3 for OND same as OND 97 the peak of 97/98 El Nino ONI numbers:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

Though MEI makes this El Nino look likely to be weaker than both 97/98 and 82/3.

What measure is most suitable for ranking strength of events?

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2016, 07:03:53 PM »
ONI 2.3 for OND same as OND 97 the peak of 97/98 El Nino ONI numbers:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

Though MEI makes this El Nino look likely to be weaker than both 97/98 and 82/3.

What measure is most suitable for ranking strength of events?


It is my opinion that the ONI three-month average is the best indicator of the strength of an El Nino, w.r.t. to its impact on worldwide weather as it is this ocean surface temperature that impacts evaporation that drives the teleconnection of atmospheric energy to various parts of the world.  Also note that Steven's Reply #19 states: "The ERSSTv4 monthly sea surface temperature anomaly for the Niño 3.4 region for December 2015 came in at +2.38°C (relative to baseline 1981-2010)"; which means that on a monthly bases the 2015-16 El Nino was stronger in December than the 97-98 event.

The MEI reports standard deviation not direct strength (like Nino 3.4) and thus in my opinion is a better indicator for projecting likely ENSO behavior (as is considers deviations from climatology by season for about 6 different atmospheric and oceanic parameters), however, I do not believe that it is a good measure of the ENSO impact on worldwide weather as our current event is having an very large (I believe the largest) impact on world weather (but it is hard to separate the impact of climate change from the ENSO impact, but the UK Met office estimated that their recent extreme weather is 40% due to the El Nino and 60% due to climate change).

Finally, I note that if either the NDJ or the DJF ONI reaches (or exceeds) a value of 2.5, in my opinion our current El Nino will move from a Super to a Godzilla category.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2016, 08:45:09 PM »
The MEI website linked below was updated on Jan 5 2016 and notes that the: "… November-December MEI dropped slightly (by 0.19) to +2.12, …":

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

Extract: "In the context of strong El Niño conditions since March-April 2015, this section features a comparison figure with the classic set of strong El Niño events during the MEI period of record.
Compared to last month, the updated (November-December) MEI has dropped slightly (by 0.19) to +2.12, continuing at the 3rd highest ranking, and about 0.3 sigma behind 1982 and 1997 for this season. The August-September 2015 value of +2.53 remains the third highest overall at any time of year since 1950. The evolution of the 2015 El Niño remains very similar to 1997, as monitored by the MEI, including a first peak in August-September and subsequent weakening during the remainder of the calendar year. In 1998, this was followed by a fairly strong rebound that peaked in late boreal winter 0.4 sigma higher than in November-December."
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2016, 10:14:22 PM »
ONI 2.3 for OND same as OND 97 the peak of 97/98 El Nino ONI numbers:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

Though MEI makes this El Nino look likely to be weaker than both 97/98 and 82/3.

What measure is most suitable for ranking strength of events?

In those previous events, El Nino was by far the major player in world wide weather. IMO, major complicating factors for the last 2 years include The north Pacific hot Blob, the cold Blob off Greenland plus the resulting slowed down Gulf Stream, the loss of ASI and the resulting slowed down Jet Stream.
Another big factor, but harder to define by earth bound measurements, is the vastly worsening energy imbalance.
Although by strict El Nino definitions 2014 was not an El Nino year, the heat upwelling did have impacts on the global scale, just that the other global factors caused a delay in its full manifestations. Right now if it peters out would still rank 3rd, but all indicators and history say that the next 6 months will tell a fuller story.
The questions I have is that what happens if there is a whole lot more heat still locked in the Pacific that is just biding its time to come to the surface? Is there enough energy in there to keep things going for another few more months? Is there enough energy and blockings to keep the other needed weather systems in place to keep El Nino energized?
Do to the energy imbalance  IMO we are in uncharted territory, and just by looking at historical events and declare this is what will happen is indeed what will happen. 5 years ago very few people were predicting the Blobs and TTT-RRR.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #39 on: January 06, 2016, 10:47:18 PM »
The Pliocene (which lasted from 5 to 3 million years ago) had carbon dioxide levels similar to the present day, with global mean temperatures about 2-3ºC higher, so it offers some hints of what might happen to the ENSO in the coming decades.  In this regard, the linked reference (with a free pdf), indicates that during the Pliocene the Eastern Equatorial Pacific warmed (and stayed warm) relative to today (see the first image); but that the ENSO oscillation continued during this period (see the second image).  As the warm water pool in the Western Equatorial Pacific accumulates when the trade winds (during neutral and La Nina conditions) push the warm water from east to west along the equator.  Thus if the trade winds permanently are weakened and/or occur less frequently then the Eastern Equatorial Pacific should permanently warm (as was the case during the Pliocene) due to the solar radiation shining on it.  For such cases some climate change models estimate ECS values of between 4 & 5C.

Chris Brierley (2013), "ENSO behavior before the Pleistocene", PAGES news • Vol 21 • No 2

http://www.pages-igbp.org/download/docs/newsletter/2013-2/PAGESnews_2013(2)_70-71_Brierley.pdf

Extract: "The Pliocene was characterized by a weak equatorial sea surface temperature gradient in the Pacific, confusingly reminiscent of that seen fleetingly during an El Niño. Data also show interannual variability in the Pliocene, raising questions about ENSO’s dependence on the mean climate state."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2016, 02:20:17 AM »
Per the following data issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has drifted down from -10.1 to -10.3:

20151207,20160105,-10.3

Edit: Here is the associated plot
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 03:28:37 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2016, 05:43:54 AM »
Sleepy, I've slightly adjusted your topic title, so that it can serve as the replacement for the old 2015 El Niño thread.

Thanks Neven.

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2016, 10:06:44 AM »
Now we have Rock'n Roll weather in Scandinavia and Arctic temperatures, it was only two weeks ago since I cut my lawn... I just posted this in the weird weather thread:
http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,323.msg67964.html#msg67964
And take a look at the following comment with the anomalies for yesterday.

Also adding the temperatures further north at 925mbar and the NSIDC sea ice extent.

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2016, 05:08:34 PM »
And now let the skill comparison between the European Centre's and NOAA's corrected MJO forecast systems continue:

The first image shows NOAA's NCPE (their GFS bias corrected system) MJO forecast from Jan 7 to 21 2016, which is very bullish for supporting El Nino conditions and has the MJO a little east of the dateline.

The second image show's the European Centre's ECMM (with climatology adjustments) MJO forecast from Jan 7 to 21 2016, which is far less bullish than NOAA showing the MJO centered much further east than NOAA.

The third and fourth images show the U at Albany (where Prof Roundy works) 5S-5N Wind Anom forecasts from Jan 7 to 14 2016 for 850-hPa and 200-hPa, respectively.  These forecasts are both very bullish for conditions supporting El Nino growth indicating that the U at Albany is thinking that NOAA's system is more skillful.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 05:20:53 PM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2016, 05:18:04 PM »
Continuing on from my last post (comparing the EC's to NOAA's MJO forecast system skill):

All four attached images are from the Nullschool system for wind and TPW forecasts.  The first two images are for today Jan 7 2016 and show the 850-hPa, and 250-hPa, conditions, respectively.  These plots in my opinion show that the center of the MJO is closer to the NCPB forecast than the ECMM forecast.  The last two images are fore Jan 11 2016 for the 850-hPa, and 250-hPa, conditions, respectively.  Again, in my opinion these last two plots indicate the center of the MJO to be much closer to the NCPB forecast for this date than the ECMM forecast.  Thus indicating that the Nullschool favors NOAA's forecasts.

I admit that if both the U at Albany and the Nullschool use NOAA's data as inputs then of course their forecasts would better correlate with the NCPB forecast than the ECMM forecast, so we will need to keep watching for several days/weeks to see what actually develops in this key/critical timeframe for the ENSO cycle.

Edit: Also, note that the Jan 11 2016 forecasts show significant amounts of tropical TPW being entrained in the Asian Jetstream, where it should be carried to the US West Coast by the end of the second week in January, 2016.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2016, 08:00:34 PM »
NOAA has recently released more ENSO data, which I provide below:

The first two images show the Eq Pacific Subsurface Temp Anom, and Temp, profiles, respectively, for Jan 3 2016.  These plots show that while the downwelling phase of the EKW has shrunk, the deepwater remains relatively warm, which will likely set-up a new phase of downwelling, now that the upwelling phase was unable to upwell any relatively cool water to disrupt the current Super El Nino.

The third image shows that the Eq Pacific Upper Ocean Heat Content, circa Jan 7 2016, has bottom-out and is well primed to turn up again with the next downwelling phase of the EKW.

The forth image shows the SSTA for Jan 7 2016, showing that the Super El Nino remains strong, that the PDO/IPO remain positive, and that the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is rapidly breaking-up which will likely bring record surface temperatures to Western Antarctica and high associated ice mass loss (linked to the teleconnection of energy from the Eastern Pacific to West Antarctica).
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2016, 11:35:41 PM »
Michael Ventrice posted the graphic below today on Twitter (using data from ECMWF), which suggests that the westerly wind burst will remain very strong during the next 5 days or so, but weaken quickly between about January 12-15, 2016.  It will be interesting to see whether this forecast holds.

http://twitter.com/MJVentrice/status/685103398501367809



AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2016, 12:46:10 AM »
Michael Ventrice posted the graphic below today on Twitter (using data from ECMWF), which suggests that the westerly wind burst will remain very strong during the next 5 days or so, but weaken quickly between about January 12-15, 2016.  It will be interesting to see whether this forecast holds.

Honestly, I have nothing but respect for the work that I have seen Michael Ventrice perform, but as it is not his skill, but the skill of the European Centre MJO system that is in question here, so I provide the attached ECMF (not the ECMM) that shows that by January 14 when Ventrice's WWB stops abruptly the MJO is all the way over Africa and approaching the Indian Ocean.  While on Jan 14 the NCPB MJO forecast shows the MJO extremely weak (which would mean a very small WWB at that time) but located at the International Dateline where NOAA projects that it will stay and strengthen until at least Jan 21 2016.

That said, I acknowledge that Ventrice's projection is compatible with the U at Albany projection that ends on Jan 14, but that through that date they are both compatible with the NCPE MJO projection.  Therefore, I concur that it will be interesting to watch for the next week or two to see what actually happens. 
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2016, 02:37:22 AM »
Per the attached plot issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has dropped sharply down to -11.4:
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2016, 05:52:04 AM »
Sleepy, is there snow on your grass to insulate it from the cold?  Similarly we in Minnesota are experiencing our first major Arctic outbreak after the warmest and wettest December on record in the Midwest.  I could use some sunshine but otherwise I'm quite enjoying the El Nino.

http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/multimedia/releases/2016/20160106_MidwestExperiencesWarmestandWettestDecember.pdf

http://blog-weathertalk.extension.umn.edu/
For the 4th consecutive month Minnesota recorded warmer than normal temperatures. Observers reported mean monthly temperatures for December that were from 8 to 12 degrees F above normal, marking the warmest December in history on a statewide basis, surpassing the previous record from December 1939.  Extremes for the month ranged from 53F at Marshall on the 9th to -11F at Thief River Falls on the 28th.

On a statewide basis December of 2015 was the 2nd wettest in history, with an average value of nearly 1.90 inches.  Some observers reported their wettest December in history, including: 4.09" at Two Harbors; 4.90" at Caledonia; 5.38" at La Crescent; 4.28" at Preston; and 4.00 inches at Spring Grove.  Snowfall amounts for the month ranged from 3 to 10 inches, with many northern locations receiving over a foot. 

For the Twin Cities specifically, December of 2015 was the 2nd warmest in history, surpassed only by 1877.  Only two days brought colder than normal temperatures.  It was the 9th wettest in history with 2.31 inches at MSP Airport.  Snowfall total was 9.4 inches.  Only one day was sunny, and two days were partly cloudy.