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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1900 on: November 18, 2014, 02:02:24 AM »
Per the attached plot the BoM indicated that the 30-day moving average SOI has remained at -10.9:
“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: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1901 on: November 19, 2014, 01:05:13 AM »
All the attached images are from the BoM issued today.  The first two are for the week ending Nov 16 2014.  The first image shows that the Nino 3.4 index has moved up to +0.93; which may (or may not) be close to a peak for the next few weeks as other indicators are leveling off (or declining) including the second attached image of the IOD which is down to +0.23.  This conditions are neutral but supportive of the possible formation of an El Nino event.

The third attached image shows that the 30-day moving average SOI has stayed constant at -10.9 (for the third day in a row); which is also supportive of the possibility of an El Nino event in the next couple of months.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1902 on: November 19, 2014, 01:07:50 AM »
The four attached images were all issued today by the BoM for the week ending Nov 16 2014, for the Nino 1, 2, 3 and 4 indices, respectively.  All indices are up (except the Nino 2 index) indicating an increasing possibility of a possible El Nino event in the next couple of months.
“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: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1903 on: November 20, 2014, 12:51:12 AM »
Per the following data issued by the BoM today, the 30-day moving average SOI has increased to -10.3:

20141020,20141118,-10.3
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Bruce Steele

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1904 on: November 20, 2014, 04:15:50 PM »
JISAO PDO index Oct.2014.      1.49

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1905 on: November 21, 2014, 02:08:42 AM »
The attached plot issued by the BoM today indicates that the 30-day moving average SOI remains unchanged from yesterday at -10.3:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1906 on: November 22, 2014, 02:15:13 AM »
Per the following data issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has moved up to -9.1:

20141022,20141120,-9.1
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1907 on: November 23, 2014, 02:01:38 AM »
Per the attached plot issued by the BoM today, the 30-day moving average SOI has moved up to -8.4:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

JayW

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1908 on: November 23, 2014, 01:22:13 PM »
Unfortunately, Levi Cowan's wonderful and free site tropicaltidbits.com has been attacked by shitty people who have too much time on their hands.  What kind of morally inept person takes pleasure in this? 
"To defy the laws of tradition, is a crusade only of the brave" - Les Claypool

bassman

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1909 on: November 23, 2014, 07:16:09 PM »
JayW, Have to add a little humor to your serious comment.  My wife saw the website tropical tidbits (which wasn’t loading for me either over the last few days) on the address bar on my phone.  She thought it was an adult site for a few seconds.....

JayW

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1910 on: November 23, 2014, 09:07:54 PM »
JayW, Have to add a little humor to your serious comment.  My wife saw the website tropical tidbits (which wasn’t loading for me either over the last few days) on the address bar on my phone.  She thought it was an adult site for a few seconds.....


  :D :D
Classic, that gave me a good laugh.  Hopefully Levi is up and running again soon.

"To defy the laws of tradition, is a crusade only of the brave" - Les Claypool

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1911 on: November 24, 2014, 01:37:28 AM »
The attached plot issued today by the BoM of the 30-day moving average SOI shows that the index has moved down to -8.5:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

deep octopus

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1912 on: November 24, 2014, 04:13:49 PM »
The Niño 3.4 region rose to 0.9 C over the last week, and is at least 0.5 C for the 6th week in a row as weak El Niño conditions continue.

             Nino1+2      Nino3        Nino34        Nino4
 Week          SST SSTA     SST SSTA     SST SSTA     SST SSTA
 15OCT2014     21.5 0.7     25.5 0.5     27.2 0.5     29.4 0.7
 22OCT2014     21.8 0.8     25.8 0.8     27.2 0.5     29.4 0.7
 29OCT2014     21.8 0.6     25.8 0.9     27.3 0.6     29.4 0.8
 05NOV2014     21.9 0.5     25.8 0.9     27.4 0.8     29.5 0.9
 12NOV2014     22.4 0.9     25.8 0.9     27.5 0.8     29.5 0.9
 19NOV2014     22.6 0.8     26.0 1.0     27.5 0.9     29.5 0.9

bigB

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1913 on: November 24, 2014, 11:35:21 PM »
1st attachment: Meteosat Global IR Nov 24 1230Z. Notice the clear active MJO signal in the Indian Ocean.

2nd attachment: Dynamical (top) and Statistical (bottom) forecast of MJO related anomalous OLR for the next 15. Both models are in good agreement that a weak-moderate inactive phase of the MJO is currently in the western and central Pacific while a robust/moderate-strong active phase of the MJO is  in the Indian Ocean (as seen in the first attached image). Both models are also in relatively good agreement that the inactive phase will essentially fade over the next 15 days with the active phase beginning to push over the Maritime Continent and into the western Pacific by early December. However, the Dynamical model suggests that as soon as the active phase reaches the western Pacific, it's to begin fading. The Statistical model on the other hand, suggests that the active phase is to strengthen some/become more robust upon entering the western Pacific. The forecast suggested by the Dynamical model seems to be more in-line with what one would expect during El Nino conditions (i.e. MJO activity typically, but not always, weakens during El Nino conditions). However, if the forecast suggested by the Statistical model plays out (which seems less likely to be as strong as forecast due to evolving weak El Nino conditions, but it's possible), the westerly winds associated with the active phase in the western Pacific would likely help strengthen the equatorial ocean surface currents flowing in an El Nino configuration, and warm water downwelling. Also, it may possibly help give the Walker Cell the push it needs to flip into El Nino mode (but I'm not sure because one would think that at this point the weak El Nino conditions would already be weakening/flipping the Walker Cell on their own.). ASLR, what's your take on a moderate-strong active phase helping change the Walker Cell?

3rd attachment: GEFS bias-corrected (top) and ECMF (bottom) phase diagrams of the MJO index forecast for Nov 24-Dec 8. Both models are in agreement that an active phase will make its way into the western Pacific (by early December), but the GEFS is suggesting it will be weak while the ECMF is suggesting it will be more moderate.

SIDE NOTE: The GFS model is suggesting that a weak, but broad area of low pressure is to move in almost directly over Tahiti by mid week, and then hold through the rest of November. If this were to occur, we would likely start seeing moderate-strong negative daily SOI values by about mid week, lasting through through the rest of November. This would likely cause the 30 day avg to drop noticeably during that time period (especially with the weak negative to even positive daily SOI values that will exiting the 30 day avg during that time).

JayW,

I'm pretty bummed about the Tropical Tidbits site as it was of great value. It came back online yesterday (Nov 23) for a brief moment and then went offline again as the DDos attacks started back up again. Looks like it's going to be down for several days until a new server is built and Levi sets everything back up (that's according to the facebook page).

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1914 on: November 25, 2014, 01:23:09 AM »
bigB,

Very nice status report.  My impression is that the strength of the forecast MJO will be too weak to flip the Walker Cell unless a strong tropical storm occurs at the same time as the MJO pass the International Dateline.

The attached plot issued today by the BoM indicates that the 30-day moving average SOI has moved up into the neutral range and is now -7.8:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Lord M Vader

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1915 on: November 25, 2014, 08:52:23 AM »
BigB and ASLR: The 3-4 latest ECMWF forecast runs have been quite consistent in that a TC will form close to 5N; 150E by the beginning of next week. The aforemented TC, which will be named Sinlaku or Hagupit, seems to strengthen then and be a "lowrider" like Bopha and Haiyan was.. If windshear is low then I think there is a real possibility to see a rather strong TC heading west by next week...

In accordance, another TC may form in Chinese sea around 10N according to ECMWF.

GFS also indicates these solutions but much weaker TCs. In any case, any TC that forms should be able to put the negative easterlies away in WPAC..

//LMV

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1916 on: November 25, 2014, 04:55:13 PM »
LMV,

With all of the signs to date, I am still in favor of a slow steady build-up of an El Nino event becoming strong by the summer of 2015.  The possible TC next week should help ocean warming, but will not likely flip the Walker Cell in an El Nino pattern.

The first and second attached images were issued by the BoM today for the Nino 3.4 and IOD indices respectively.  The first plot indicates that the Nino 3.4 has move up to +1.08, while the second image indicates that the IOD is down (supporting the idea of a slow build-up of an El Nino event).

The third image issue by NOAA today of the Eq Pac Upper Ocean Heat Anom. shows that heat is still building in the ocean in this area.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1917 on: November 25, 2014, 04:57:57 PM »
The four attached plots were all issued today by the BoM for the week ending Nov 23 2014 and show the Nino 1, 2, 3 & 4 indices respectively.  The Nino 1 & 2 indices are down, while the Nino 3 & 4 indices are up (supporting the idea of a continued slow build-up of El Nino conditions)
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Michael Hauber

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1918 on: November 25, 2014, 10:25:57 PM »
With the reactivation of trade winds in the West Pacific continuing beyond the initial burst over the last two weeks this el nino should be weakening significantly some time in the new year.  Total warm pool and depth averaged temperatures for the tropical Pacific are at record November levels so it will take a lot more above average trades than we have seen so far to totally kill this event.  If the cooling is strong enough we may see a weak pseudo-la nina pattern with a thin area of weak cool anomalies along the central and east equator, and a horseshoe of warm water wrapped tightly around this cool tongue. 

This contrasts with a proper la nina where the cool tongue is thicker and stronger, and the warm horseshoe much wider and further from the equator.  This pseudo-la nina pattern is evident at the start of all significant el nino events (that weren't 2nd or later year in a multi-year event) in recent decades.  I suspect in this pattern the warm water close to the equator is in the prime tropical storm generation region and so assists in significant kelvin wave activity.

You can see the effects of the developing typhoon at the end of the run, but if it starts a long way west, and if it moves further west it won't do a lot for any Kelvin wave activity.

Climate change:  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect the middle.

bigB

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1919 on: November 26, 2014, 12:40:09 AM »
The the following excerpts come from the linked ENSO overview issued by Kyle MacRitchie on Monday, November 24:

http://www.kylemacritchie.com/monday-enso-overview/#more-343

Quote
This warmth projects well onto the SST 3.4 index (Fig. 3), which currently weighs in at just about +1°C. I suspect that this warming will continue and we will hit an “official” CPC-style El Niño over the next couple of months. Keep in mind, though, that the midlatitude atmosphere responds to convection, not to the CPC’s definition of El Niño, so the enhanced convection can trigger El Niño-like conditions even if the arbitrary definition of El Niño isn’t met.

And,

Quote
The million dollar question has been, and still is, if and when an El Niño will develop. The current state of the low-frequency (ENSO timescale) convection, combined with the impending CCKW and MJO loads the dice in El Niño’s favor. If the MJO doesn’t develop as advertised over the next few weeks then I think the chance of an El Niño drops significantly.

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1920 on: November 26, 2014, 01:28:52 AM »
The following data issued by the BoM today indicates that the 30-day moving average SOI has moved down to -7.9:

20141026,20141124,-7.9
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Neven

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1921 on: November 26, 2014, 11:05:49 AM »
I'm not closing this thread, but maybe you guys should start moving to the 2015 El Niño thread?
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Lord M Vader

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1922 on: November 26, 2014, 09:26:25 PM »
Thx Neven! :) I think this thread should hang on here for the next 2 weeks before showdown.. I've been written both here and in next years thread. What do you other people think?

Anyway, TD-21 formed earlier today and moved inland at Mindanao in Philippinia. It should move out to the Chinese Sea by tomorrow and gathering some strength to at least a moderats tropical storm.

Next TC is scheduled to develop early next week at about 5N; 150 E. The GFS and ECMWF forecast both indicates this but have different solutions in the storm track. Both models are pretty aggressive in the evolution of this TC and given its current presentation at the models I expect the TC to become a Super Typhoon later next week maybe even before it's reaching 10N.

ASLR: I agree with you that we'll see a steady build up of El Niño. My opinion is that this will continue until the atmosphere no longer can resist the "pressure". Also, would a possible Super Typhoon hovering around 10N be able to have any kind of a slaughtering effect on the Walker circulation? IMO, it should at least temporarily remove the negative anomalies present at TAO/PMEL data graph.

/LMV

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1923 on: November 26, 2014, 09:55:29 PM »
LMV,

If a storm Equatorial tropical storm happens west of the international dateline about two weeks from now, when the attached plot forecasts a MJO to be near the dateline then I would think that this would likely flip the Walker Cell.

Separately,

I will be on vacation from today until Dec 8 2014, so I will not be posting in that period.

Best,
ASLR
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 10:11:19 PM by AbruptSLR »
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jbatteen

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1924 on: November 27, 2014, 06:35:33 AM »
I don't think 2014 El Nino is out of the question yet.  The 2015 thread seems premature.  It might be 2015 by the time the CPC retroactively calls it, but the patterns may be emerging already.

My favorite Minnesota meteorologist sees some El Nino-like jet stream trends emerging.

http://blogs.mprnews.org/updraft/
Quote
Early trends for December have hinted at more dramatic swings across Minnesota as the jet stream snakes and undulates overhead. My read of this pattern is that we may be setting the stage for a winter jet stream increasingly influenced developing El Nino in the tropical Pacific.

As we move forward into December, it appears we’ll continue to alternate between polar plunges and periodic thaws. The magnitude and duration of upcoming thaws to be determined…but NOAA’s Global Forecasting System model has cranked out some remarkably mild upper air charts on several runs in the past few days.

NOAA GFS model 500 millibar chart for December 11th from 0z Wednesday run.

The GFS often leans colder than reality, so this is an eye catching trend. The chart above is probably overdone, but most runs favor a more zonal pacific flow that is very different from last winter’s arctic onslaught. This suggest a milder December with periodic thaws possible.

Stay tuned.

bigB

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1925 on: November 28, 2014, 05:32:32 AM »
The 1st Attachment is of the Stormsurf.com GFS driven Kelvin wave generation area and wind speed direction forecast for Monday, Dec 5, which suggests VERY strong westerly wind may kick in right on the equator, possibly in the 12-15+ M/S range between 150-155E (realistically, probably more like 8-10 M/S widespread). This would be separate from the other possible TC mentioned earlier by LMV. That one is to generate moderate-strong westerly wind near the equator as well. This is all likely associated with the MJO and CCKW activity projected to push east during the next few weeks, and is just in time. The easterly wind over the past 2 weeks has done some damage and this could repair that (if one is hoping for an El Nino). It's still way too early to know, but a legit WWB may be on it's way.

Jbatteen,

Most of us (I can't speak for all us) are aware that weak El Nino conditions have already started, but an El Nino has not yet developed nor is it imminent (yet). Not until the atmosphere fully commits. As of now, the atmosphere has only partially responded to the warm tropical Pacific ocean below it. This at least weak/partial connection between the atmosphere and ocean is evidenced by the generally negative SOI values, warm SST's in the Nino 3.4 region (and other Nino indices for that matter, which have actually weakened some over the past several days), the current configuration of the NECC and SEC (those are equatorial ocean surface currents, which are generally flowing in a broken/weak El Nino configuration), equatorial subsurface temps (warmed by a moderate Kelvin wave ready to begin surfacing in the east Pacific around late December), mostly weak trades (until two weeks ago), etc..... The general census is that actual El Nino conditions began around early-mid October (but SST's were warm enough long enough to impart at least some small amount of energy into jet stream, but not enough to change global weather patterns like one would expect during a full blown El Nino). In order for those conditions to be sustained and an official El Nino to be declared, the Walker Cell must weaken significantly or flip into an El Nino condition. This is why, even though weak El Nino conditions are currently in play, NOAA, the BOM, and other agencies/experts have not yet stated that an out-and-out El Nino is imminent (i.e. NOAA currently suggests a 58% chance of development while the BOM suggests a 70% chance). I suppose a better name for the “2015 El Nino?” thread would've been “2014-15 El Nino?” But it's all good either way. The reason we needed to create another thread is because 2014 is coming to an end real soon here, and once we reach 2015, it wouldn’t make sense to continue to monitor or make posts regarding this possible event under the title “2014 El Nino?”. The 2nd attached image comes from the linked article on NOAA's ENSO blog, regarding the importance of the Walker Circulation to El Nino: 

http://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/walker-circulation-ensos-atmospheric-buddy

EDIT:  I forgot to mention that Tropical Tidbits is back online.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 10:57:03 AM by bigB »

bigB

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1926 on: November 28, 2014, 09:05:16 PM »
Provided in the first attachment are the recent (preliminary) southern oscillation index (SOI) values from the Long Paddock site. As of November 28th, the daily SOI value was down to -15.91, the 30 day avg was down to -6.68, and the 90 day avg was up slightly to –7.52. This is indicative of at least El Nino “like” conditions. That is, conditions that are neutral, bordering on weak El Nino (but according to most of the ENSO indicators, we're closer to weak El Nino conditions than warm neutral). Based on recent observations and GFS model forecasts, moderate to possibly strong negative daily SOI values are likely to continue for the next several days. Weak negative to weak positive daily SOI values will be exiting the 30 day avg at the same time. Therefore, the 30 day avg is likely to continue falling. The 90 day avg may start falling as well within the next day or two.

The second attachment is of the GEFS and ECMM phase diagrams of the MJO index forecasts for Nov 28-Dec 12, which continue to suggest that a moderate active phase of the MJO is to enter the western Pacific by early December, reaching the central Pacific before mid December. Supporting the idea that a TC and WWB activity is about to pick up. Also, falling SOI values

Lord M Vader

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1927 on: November 28, 2014, 10:15:45 PM »
BigB, I bet ECMWF forecast will be most accurate given how disappointing some things have been this year... Is the forecast for strong westerlies by net weekend still holding?

The aforemented TC still seems to develope but hasn't been as impressive in presence in ECMWF model during the last 1-3 runs. The GFS on the other hand still indicates a strong TC by late next week.

Also, if one dare to put any trust in forecasts 9-10 days ahead; ECMWF indicates a possible second TC to develope behind the mentioned one by early next week. Two TCs developing in the range of 5-10N should be good news for positive westerly wind anomlaies to emerge.

A WWB or strong westerlies emerging would be just in time. As latest PMEL/TAO graph shows the negative anomalies at 140-160E have persisted. In addition, a second minor area with negative wind anomalies may be evolving at 175-160W.

My feeling still is that the atmosphere is doing EVERYTHING it can to prevent El Niño to emerge. However, there is just a matter of time before a full blown El Niño comes true. Once we're there I think we'll see almost everything go wrong; e.g positive PDO, positive IOD and a quick warming of the planet and a melting Arctic with a new record low SIE. I won't be surprised if we're going to see a huge jump to a new level in global average temperatures a couple of years if a strong El Niño is coming by 2015...

ASLR: hope you're having a good vacation! To bad you're missing all this funny things!! :)

//LMV

bigB

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1928 on: November 29, 2014, 10:14:44 PM »
LMV,

I agree, the ECMWF model is usually slightly more accurate, but typically not until the forecasts are beyond 5 days out. GFS is more accurate 1 day out and both GFS (as long as one uses GFS 12Z and 00Z forecasts rather than 6Z or 18Z) and ECMWF models are generally equal up to 4-5 days out. I believe when it comes to longer range forecasts (6-10 days) the ECMWF has more skill. Nonetheless, The GFS model has backed off some regarding TC activity. However, it still suggests that TC and westerly wind (or possibly a WWB) is likely. 12 of the 13 phase diagrams of the MJO index forecast (which come from the U.S., U.K., Japan, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, and Europe) suggest that an active phase of the MJO ranging anywhere from weak to moderate in strength, will enter the West Pacific in early December, and then reach the Dateline before mid December. Also, the GFS shows a CCKW entering the West Pacific just before the MJO, but close enough together that the combination of the two should increase the odds TC and WWB activity. Therefore, I suspect that we'll see at least some level of westerly wind associated with TC activity in the West Pacific during early to possibly mid December. Will it be a legit WWB? It's certainly possible. The easterly wind/enhanced trades we've had over the past few weeks have pushed warm surface water back into the Western Pacific, and allowed the Central/Eastern equatorial Pacific to cool down some (being in between Kelvin waves doesn’t help either). Westerly wind in the West Pacific and near the Dateline would (among other things) reverse that (or at least improve it), and cause the West Pacific to cool down and the Central/East Pacific to warm back up some. Also, it would likely provide a more favorable environment for the Kelvin wave in the East Pacific to surface. If the West equatorial Pacific were to cool off and the Central equatorial Pacific were to warm back up slightly, mixed with the MJO and CCKW activity, the Walker Cell could transition (due to the effects that the MJO and CCKW activity would have on atmospheric circulation and the equatorial Pacific SST gradient).

I'm partial to GFS driven models for few reasons: (a) I've been using GFS driven models to track Pacific marine weather on a regular basis for about 15 years now (SIDE NOTE: Not to be so repetitive about being a surfer from So Cal, but one of the most important factors in knowing when and where to surf, is being able to know and understand how to track weather. Especially, marine weather.), (b) The surf forecast sites who's weather and wave forecast models I use, are mainly GFS driven, and (c) Using GFS driven models for so many years (as they are by far one of the most abundant weather forecast models available on the web) I've become very familiar with them. All forecast models go through brief periods in which they forecast poorly. Identifying those periods can be done by watching model trends and continuously referencing real time data of what actually happened with what the forecast models were suggesting would happen. (NOTE: In the northern hemisphere, forecast models tend to be more accurate inaccurate during summer than the winter. So the accuracy of forecast models should improve some in the coming months). IMO, the GFS model is currently forecasting fair-good in the short range (about 1-4 days out), and fair in the long (about 5-8 days out). Like I said though, I heavily rely on real time data as well as forecast data.

I also found the answer as to why the GFS 12Z (and 00Z, but I prefer the 12Z) forecasts are more accurate than the 06Z and 18Z. The following excerpt comes from the linked AccuWeather article on the secrets of weather forecast models, exposed:

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/weathermatrix/why-are-the-models-so-inaccurate/18097

Quote
Look at model trends. If the low pressure moved east with this run, what did it do the run before that? For the GFS, look at a couple days of 00Z and 12Z runs for consistency. Avoid the 06Z and 18Z runs when 00 or 12 is available; in the U.S. these runs don't include the weather balloon network data (balloons are only sent up twice per day), and are therefore radically different and more likely to have bias.

EDIT: I decided to add the attached plot from NOAA, which shows the historical accuracy/skill of the U.S. GFS, the European ECMWF, the U.K. Government's UKMET, and a CDAS. Northern Hemisphere (top) and Southern Hemisphere (bottom). (NOTE: While other models have been upgraded/tweaked over the years to increase accuracy, CDAS has never been modified, supposedly to serve as a constant). Notice that during the past few years, the difference in accuracy between the GFS and ECMWF for 5-day forecasts of 500-hPa heights, has been relatively minor. Especially, for the N. Hemisphere. According to NOAA, the GFS upgrade is now scheduled for Jan 7, 2015, and should bring it right on par with the ECMWF.

2nd EDIT/ADD ON: I just wanted to point out that while the active/enhanced phase of the MJO would likely support the currently evolving El Nino, the inactive/suppressed phase of the MJO would likely interfere. Of course, this would be due to the easterly wind/anomalies and suppressed convection associated with the inactive phase of the MJO as it moves through the Western and Central Pacific. The easterly wind/anomalies and suppressed convection that we just saw move through the Western and Central Pacific during mid to late November was associated with the inactive/suppressed phase of the MJO. Now we're about to see the active/enhanced phase of the MJO move through the Western and Central Pacific, and if another inactive/suppressed phase of the MJO follows behind that, then it's possible that a more normal northern hemisphere winter time MJO pattern/signal may be returning/strengthening (i.e. alternating active and inactive phases). Not saying that it is, bit if this is the case, then it (especially during the inactive phase) would likely disrupt the evolving El Nino conditions in both the ocean and atmosphere (i.e. SST's and Walker Circulation). This is likely why during El Nino conditions, the MJO signal typically weakens (I believe that's mostly true during moderate-strong El Ninos where the Walker Cell transitions into a solid El Nino configuration by early-mid fall of the first year in which the El Nino develops, but not always as true during weaker El Ninos). The issue with this possible El Nino event, is that it's a late bloomer due to it's extremely slow evolution. Therefore, if the Walker Cell fails to transition, and if the MJO signal returns, it may NOT give the 2014-15 El Nino much of a chance to fully develop the necessary ocean-atmosphere coupling. What the MJO signal and Walker Circulation do over the next few weeks will be important. I believe this is partly why Kyle MacRitchie stated the following back on Nov 24: “ The current state of the low-frequency (ENSO timescale) convection, combined with the impending CCKW and MJO loads the dice in El Niño’s favor. If the MJO doesn’t develop as advertised over the next few weeks then I think the chance of an El Niño drops significantly”.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 10:43:09 PM by bigB »

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1929 on: November 30, 2014, 03:19:27 AM »
1st attachment: Recent (preliminary) southern oscillation index (SOI) values from the Long Paddock site. As of November 29th, the daily SOI value was down to -17.37, the 30 day avg was down to -7.24, and the 90 day avg was down slightly to –7.56. This is indicative of at least El Nino “like” conditions. That is, conditions that are still neutral, bordering on weak El Nino.

2nd attachment: 30 day avg SOI plot issued by the BOM on Nov 29. Per this data, the 30 day avg has moved down to -8.6.

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1930 on: December 01, 2014, 01:27:58 AM »
1st attachment: The GEFS (top) and ECMM/ECMF (bottom) phase diagrams of the MJO index forecasts for Nov 30-Dec 14, which are in relatively good agreement that a weak active phase of the MJO is to enter the Western Pacific around December 3rd or 4th, reaching the Dateline sometime around December 7th-9th, and quickly fading shortly thereafter. The odds of a meaningful impact on the Walker Cell or westerly wind have decreased as both models now suggest a weaker and faster moving MJO signal than few days ago. I still believe that we'll see an increase in TC and westerly wind activity in the far Western Pacific, but not as strong as was originally projected.

2nd attachment: The BOM plot of 30 day avg SOI values, issued on Nov 30th. Per this data, the 30 day avg has dropped down to -9.3.

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1931 on: December 01, 2014, 02:44:45 AM »
The attached MTSAT visible satellite image is of tropical depression 22W, which as of 00Z on Dec 1st, was located at roughly 4N and 154E, with max sustained winds of 25 kt, and a minimum central pressure of 1004 mb. TD 22W is projected to start tracking towards the northwest while slowly strengthening. As of right now, TD 22W is in prime position to generate beneficial westerly wind.

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1932 on: December 01, 2014, 03:35:42 PM »
The Niño 3.4 region rose to 1.0 C over the last week, the highest now since March 2010, and is at least 0.5 C for the 7th week in a row as weak El Niño conditions continue.

             Nino1+2      Nino3        Nino34        Nino4
 Week          SST SSTA     SST SSTA     SST SSTA     SST SSTA
 22OCT2014     21.8 0.8     25.8 0.8     27.2 0.5     29.4 0.7
 29OCT2014     21.8 0.6     25.8 0.9     27.3 0.6     29.4 0.8
 05NOV2014     21.9 0.5     25.8 0.9     27.4 0.8     29.5 0.9
 12NOV2014     22.4 0.9     25.8 0.9     27.5 0.8     29.5 0.9
 19NOV2014     22.6 0.8     26.0 1.0     27.5 0.9     29.5 0.9
 26NOV2014     22.4 0.4     25.9 0.9     27.6 1.0     29.5 0.9

bigB

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1933 on: December 01, 2014, 08:35:34 PM »
The following excerpts come from the linked Tropics Update, issued by Kyle MacRitchie on December 1st:

http://www.kylemacritchie.com/monday-tropics-update/#more-358   

Quote

The tropics seem to be awake and active for Cyber Monday. Let’s begin by briefly visiting ENSO… Fig. 1 below shows an update to the SSTs and winds over the central Pacific from the TAO buoy array. You’ll notice that the SSTs are a touch weaker than they were last week (the +1.5°C SST anomaly contour no longer appears). The trades seem fairly robust throughout the basin with little sign of a weakening or reversal. I suspect this will change over the next week or two as a westerly wind burst develops in the WPAC.

Quote
The real story in the tropics, though, seems to be the impending westerly wind burst (WWB) from the aforementioned equatorial waves. Fig. 4 shows a GFS forecast of equatorially averaged zonal wind (total field, not anomalies) from Carl Schreck’s website. The impending WWB (shown in the bottom of the figure) could be a game changer for El Niño, which the CFS is still trying to develop (Fig. 5). Although I recommend caution when deciding to believe the CFS El Niño forecast, mainly because we don’t have a good idea how accurate its forecasts are, the physical mechanisms seem to be setting up to produce an El Niño over the next month. If this WWB pans out as advertised, I’d bet heavily on El Niño by January.

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1934 on: December 02, 2014, 01:05:57 AM »
Per the attached BOM data, issued Dec 1st, the 30 day avg SOI has moved down to -10.0.

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1935 on: December 02, 2014, 02:32:57 AM »
The attached MTSAT visible satellite image is of tropical storm Hagupit, which as of 00Z on Dec 2nd, was located at roughly 6N and 147E, with max sustained winds of 55 kt, and a minimum central pressure of 982 mb. Per the earth wind map (see second attachment), Hagupit is currently generating a decent fetch of westerly wind between 135E-150E.

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1936 on: December 02, 2014, 06:25:16 PM »
BOM has issued its December 2nd ENSO update.

Quote
El Niño-like impacts emerge in a number of areas

 Many climate indicators remain close to El Niño thresholds, with climate model outlooks suggesting further intensification of conditions remains likely. The Bureau’s ENSO Tracker status is currently at ALERT, indicating at least a 70% chance that El Niño will be declared in the coming months. Whether or not an El Niño fully develops, a number of El Niño-like impacts have already emerged.

Several ENSO indicators are currently close to, or exceed, El Niño thresholds. These include tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures, which have now exceeded El Niño levels for a month, and the Southern Oscillation Index, which has remained at or near El Niño levels for three months. Other indicators, such as tropical cloud, trade winds and rainfall patterns, have either remained near average or only temporarily approached thresholds. This indicates a typical El Niño ocean–atmosphere interaction may not be fully locked in.

Link: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/#tabs=Overview

It goes on further to say that the most we should expect is a weak, maybe moderate, El Niño in strength this winter. The attached image shows BOM's chart for the SST anomaly in the Niño 3.4 region, which has slightly weakened to 0.94 C, consistent with weak El Niño conditions. This year is looking analogous to the 2006-2007 El Niño, though in that event, El Niño conditions rapidly fizzled by mid-January. Indeed, weak El Niños have a pattern of being both shallow and relatively short. There would still be a global warming effect of unpredictable strength (see the significant November 2006-May 2007 warming). Though if the mysteriously strong mid-2015 warming that CFS suggests is to take place, we could get something of a glorified version of a 1968-1970 or 1986-1988 double-dip El Niño. That's about the extent to which I'll lend much attention to a prediction that far out.

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1937 on: December 02, 2014, 08:24:14 PM »
Typhoon Hagupit continues to strengthen. According to joint Typhoon Warning Center; Hagupit achieved typhoon strength at 6.1N. This should allow for some beneficial westerly winds. JTWC foresees that Hagupit may reach Category 4 before crossing 10N latitude.

In the meantime;  preliminary data from PMEL/TAO indicates that negative wind anomalies seems to emerge over far eastern pacific around 110W. This is highly interesting as there almost haven't been any real negative wind anomalies there since the beginning of April 2014 and December 2012. the question is whether this only is temporarily or if trade winds are to reactivate.

Something is definitely going on! Btw, BigB: does it still looks like strong westerlies are to emerge in WPAC or have the MJO blown away?

//LMV

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1938 on: December 02, 2014, 11:28:03 PM »
In the attachment shown, a low pressure system spinning off of the Pacific NW is helping to drag moisture from the warm tropics toward California. This atmospheric river is providing much needed rainfall to the American southwest, though mudslides and flooding are a risk. Now that the high pressure ridge that had been sending cold air into the eastern United States is weakening, the jet stream is allowed to extend along a more southerly track. This will have been the second atmospheric river in about a week. Meanwhile, a more zonal (west to east) jet stream track is expected to elevate temperatures in December across much of North America. So we have a bit of an El Niño-like pattern taking place. There are faint signs of a split jet stream forming in the upper atmosphere. The third attachment from the NWS in El Paso shows the atmospheric pressure set up from December 1st. Since this El Niño is (a) young and (b) fairly weak, things could be very fickle, all the while we see faint signs as this. If we get to moderate strength, clearer and more consistent patterns should follow.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 11:50:33 PM by deep octopus »

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1939 on: December 04, 2014, 03:34:14 PM »
Per the attached image by the Australian BOM, the 30-day moving average of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) moved up to -9.4 on December 2nd.

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1940 on: December 04, 2014, 11:20:28 PM »
1st attachment: OSCAR 5-day plots of equatorial Pacific ocean surface currents, centered on Dec 1st. This shows that the NECC is currently flowing normal to slightly stronger than normal from west to east while the SEC is flowing normal to slightly weaker than normal. This is slightly favorable to El Nino conditions. The recent (mid-late Nov) easterly wind in the Western/Central equatorial Pacific has weakened the anomalous west to east El Nino configuration, but not nearly as much as I originally thought it would. See the bottom plot, which shows that anomalies are still generally pushing from west to east, except in the far Western Pacific.

2nd attachment: GEFS (top) and ECMM/ECMF (bottom) phase diagrams of the MJO index forecasts for Dec 4th-18th. Both models are still in good agreement that a weak active phase of the MJO is about to enter the Western Pacific.

3rd attachment: Stormsurf.com GFS 48, 96, 144, and 180 hr forecasts (initialized 12Z  Dec 4) of the North Pacific Jet Stream (left column), and North Pacific surface pressure and wind (right column). Notice that during the next few days the Jet Stream is projected to become very coherent with a zonal flow (basically flat) across almost the entire Pacific. Then by mid next week troughs are to begin forming. Also, notice that as the jet approaches the Western US, it runs into a wall of blocking high pressure. This can be better seen by looking at the surface pressure and wind forecasts, which show enhanced storm activity associated with a large complex low pressure system (large storm with more than one center of low pressure, or a large storm made up of multiple smaller storms) centered mainly in the eastern half of the North Pacific. With blocking high pressure projected to be in place over the far southwestern US, the storms will veer off to the northeast as they approach the US West Coast. It still looks like Central and Northern CA will continue to get in on the action with some areas possibly receiving up to an additional 4-6 inches (or more) of accumulated precipitation over the next week (mostly Nor Cal), but not so much for So Cal. However, if the first few storms were able break down/weaken the high pressure, then So Cal would likely get in on the action as well, and this is exactly what looks to happen late next week. Notice that the blocking high pressure is projected to break down and small trough is to develop off the US West Coast late in the forecast period. If that were to occur (believing a model more than a few days out is risky), it would likely bring another decent shot of rain to the more southern portions of CA (Northern and Central CA as well). I believe that the currently enhanced precipitation pattern/storm track is related to teleconnections from both the active phase of the MJO and the evolving El Nino state. As the active phase of the MJO propagates from the Indian ocean into the Western Pacific, and towards the Date Line, it has vary similar teleconnections as El Nino (I suspect that in this case they are enhancing each other). During northern hemisphere winter months the active phase of the MJO is almost like a mini/short lived El Nino while the inactive phase is almost like a mini/short lived La Nina (but not always). To read more about the MJO-U.S teleconntection, please see the following link, which leads to a post (reply # 202) I made back on November 25, 2014, regarding the MJO-U.S. teleconnection, and the rain event we just saw in CA.

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,729.200.html

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1941 on: December 05, 2014, 05:05:39 AM »
LMV,

The first attached image comes from the BOM and shows the general location of MJO related OLR anomalies, and the direction and strength of MJO related surface level wind anomalies during Nov-Jan. Per this data, one would typically expect to see MJO related westerly wind and/or anomalies in the Western/Central when the active phase of the MJO is in phases 6, 7, and 8. Therefore, if any MJO related westerly wind and/or anomalies are going to develop, it will likely be between now and about mid December (for the current location of the active phase of the MJO, please see the phase diagrams of the MJO forecast in my post above). As of right now, real-time/forecast models aren't really suggesting much in the way of westerly wind or anomalies, except for in the far western Pacific (see attached TAO data). We'll see what happens, but it looks less likely than a few days ago. I did ask Kyle MacRitchie (who has a Ph.D in atmospheric science and focuses on how the MJO, equatorial waves, and ENSO interact with the midlatitudes) what impacts the current MJO and CCKW might have on the Walker Cell. The following is my question and his response (NOTE: The link he provided leads to his CFS driven models, which are a good source for monitoring tropical modes. Also, he pointed out that exact El Nino thresholds such as SSTA in the Nino 3.4 region being at/above +0.5 deg C, SOI values being below -8.0, trades having weakened to a certain point, etc... doesn't necessarily mean that an El Nino is or isn't in play. The Atmosphere ultimately responds to the anomalous persistent deep convection, which is true. However, I still believe that monitoring El Nino thresholds is useful in gaining an idea as to whats going on with ocean and atmospheric state in regards to ENSO):

Quote
Ben says:   
December 2, 2014 at 12:52 am   

Kyle, I much appreciate the new addition of these ENSO and Tropical Wave overviews! I’m looking forward to next weeks. If the active phase of the MJO and equatorial waves continue to develop as projected, what are the chances that the possibly resulting conditions/events (e.g. TC’s, WWB’s, changes in SST gradient, etc…) would have a meaningful impact on significantly weakening or flipping the Walker Cell into an El Nino mode? It’s my understanding that at this point in the evolution toward a possible El Nino state, some of the ENSO indicators (SST’s and the SOI) suggest weak El Nino conditions, but tropical cloud, wind, and precipitation patterns have only briefly/at times reached those thresholds. Meaning, the Walker Cell has not yet fully committed. Would that be accurate? Thanks!
   

Kyle says:   
December 2, 2014 at 8:03 am   

A good question, Ben. The equatorial central Pacific has been fairly warm for the last few weeks, and there has been persistent convection over the area (check the last panel here: http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/macritch/showhoriz.php). I think that if the MJO propagates as forecast, it is likely to enhance the zonal SST gradient and weaken the low-level easterlies in the western Pacific, which would make the Walker cell look more El Niño-like. A westerly wind burst in association with the MJO could also help to initiate another oceanic Kelvin wave which will be important in getting this El Niño going.

Personally, I don’t like following the arbitrary El Niño thresholds. The atmosphere doesn’t respond to the thresholds, it responds to the convection wherever it is. If the SSTs remain highest in the central Pacific (which I think is likely), then the associated atmospheric response during the winter is likely to cold east US and warm west US (see 2002/2003 winter for an example).

« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 06:45:29 AM by bigB »

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1942 on: December 06, 2014, 12:07:22 AM »
For those who like to follow or know whats going on with ONI values, the most recent NOAA CPC ONI value for Sep-Nov 2014, came in at +0.5 deg C (NOAA CPC El Nino threshold). According to NOAA's definition of El Nino (5 consecutive 3 month seasons at/above +0.5 deg C), IF an “official” El Nino event is declared, it would likely have started during the SON three month season of 2014 (if that's going to happen, the ocean and atmosphere need to link up). As noted by the CPC, the most recent ONI values are subject to change up to two months after the initial real-time value is posted. Therefore, they should be considered an estimate. The following link leads the table of historical ONI values prepared by NOAA's CPC:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1943 on: December 08, 2014, 04:07:06 PM »
The Niño 3.4 region fell to 0.8 C over the last week, and is at least 0.5 C for the 8th week in a row as weak El Niño conditions continue.

             Nino1+2      Nino3        Nino34        Nino4
 Week          SST SSTA     SST SSTA     SST SSTA     SST SSTA
 29OCT2014     21.8 0.6     25.8 0.9     27.3 0.6     29.4 0.8
 05NOV2014     21.9 0.5     25.8 0.9     27.4 0.8     29.5 0.9
 12NOV2014     22.4 0.9     25.8 0.9     27.5 0.8     29.5 0.9
 19NOV2014     22.6 0.8     26.0 1.0     27.5 0.9     29.5 0.9
 26NOV2014     22.4 0.4     25.9 0.9     27.6 1.0     29.5 0.9
 03DEC2014     22.3 0.0     25.8 0.7     27.4 0.8     29.4 0.9

30-day SOI on BOM increased to -5.8 on the 30th day ending December 6th. Determining at which point the atmosphere and ocean are coupled is a more elusive concept than simply seeing that the central equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures have breached the 0.5 C threshold axiom, as bigB has pointed out. I suspect that if an El Niño is to bear out in earnest, the atmospheric patterns will be progressively more consistent.

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1944 on: December 09, 2014, 02:19:49 AM »
As indicated by the following data issued today by the BoM for the week ending on Dec 7th, the 30-day moving average SOI has remained unchanged at -5.8:

20141103,20141202,-9.4
20141104,20141203,-8.8
20141105,20141204,-8.2
20141106,20141205,-7.6
20141107,20141206,-5.8
20141108,20141207,-5.8
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1945 on: December 09, 2014, 04:24:48 PM »
Based on the first three attached images from the BoM of Nino 3.4 model summaries for Dec 2014, and Feb & April 2015; and on the fourth attached image of the El Nino Modoki Index, EMI (see the following link), I believe that it is likely that a Modoki type El Nino likely may have begun in 2014, and that it is possible that this pattern will slowly flip the Walker Cell so that by late summer of 2015 a strong classical El Nino may possibly occur:

http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frsgc/research/d1/iod/modoki_home.html.en
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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1946 on: December 09, 2014, 04:31:50 PM »
According to the first attached image issue by the BoM for the weekly Nino 3.4 plot, the index value for the week ending Dec 7 2014 was +0.86.

The second attached image of the Equatorial Pacific Upper Ocean Heat Anom. (from NOAA) through circa Dec 9 2014, shows that this index is trending down as the Eastern Eq. Pac. continues to cool (presenting the probability of a Modoki type El Nino beginning in 2014).

The third attached image (from the BoM) of the weekly IOD plot, shows that this index is fluctuating upwards, raising the possibility of  strengthening El Nino conditions by mid-2015.
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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1947 on: December 09, 2014, 04:36:17 PM »
The four attached plots (issued by the BoM through the week ending Dec 7 2014), for the Nino 1, 2, 3, and 4 indices, respectively, show the Eastern Eq. Pacific continuing to cool, with the Western Eq. Pacific beginning to warm (and the trend for a warming Western Eq Pac. should be sustained for at least a few weeks by the recent WWB), which support the possibility of a Modoki-type El Nino having begun in 2014:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

deep octopus

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1948 on: December 09, 2014, 05:16:57 PM »
Based on the first three attached images from the BoM of Nino 3.4 model summaries for Dec 2014, and Feb & April 2015; and on the fourth attached image of the El Nino Modoki Index, EMI (see the following link), I believe that it is likely that a Modoki type El Nino likely may have begun in 2014, and that it is possible that this pattern will slowly flip the Walker Cell so that by late summer of 2015 a strong classical El Nino may possibly occur:

ASLR, it doesn't look as though that EMI chart has updated since spring 2013. Is there a more recent one available?

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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #1949 on: December 09, 2014, 06:19:20 PM »
deep octopus,

You can find weekly values at the following link

http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d1/iod/DATA/emi.weekly.txt

The following data from that site confirm that in November 2014 the index increased appreciably:

2014:6:18:0 -0.518873
2014:6:25:0 -0.207147
2014:7:2:0 -0.329783
2014:7:9:0 -0.0838861
2014:7:16:0 -0.0254828
2014:7:23:0 -0.156362
2014:7:30:0 0.156289
2014:8:6:0 0.0666816
2014:8:13:0 -0.0295581
2014:8:20:0 -0.0875285
2014:8:27:0 0.0909983
2014:9:3:0 0.179007
2014:9:10:0 0.393126
2014:9:17:0 0.526038
2014:9:24:0 0.151253
2014:10:1:0 0.15739
2014:10:8:0 0.332965
2014:10:15:0 0.535782
2014:10:22:0 0.447807
2014:10:29:0 0.512626
2014:11:5:0 0.728478

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson