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Author Topic: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath  (Read 240600 times)

Sleepy

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2016, 08:39:26 AM »
Yes, we've had some snow. We need winter, nature needs winter. But we get less and less of it in the south and the effects after large El Ninos are only temporary pain killers.

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2016, 04:49:46 PM »
The first two images are from the Nullschool forecast for Jan 12 2016 for TPW and 850-hPa Wind, and 250-hPa Wind, respectively.  This forecast shows the MJO weakening but staying just east of the Dateline.

The last two images are from the U at Albany 5S-5N Wind Anom forecast from Jan 8 to 15 2016, for 850-hPa, and 200-hPa, respectively.  They show a weakening of the MJO and associate WWB by the 15th.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2016, 05:17:57 PM »
As is to be expected for MJO forecasts that are updated with observed parameters daily, the NCPB and the ECMM projections are beginning to converge towards each other (from the past several days of forecasts).  Nevertheless, for the two plots of MJO forecasts from Jan 8 to 22 2016, for the NCPB, and the ECMM, respectively, on Jan 14 the NCPB shows a very weak MJO near the Dateline while the ECMM shows the MJO over the Indian Ocean.

It will be interesting to watch to see where the MJO actually is located in the Jan 12 to 16, 2016 timeframe.

Edit: I note that the Nullschool maps for Jan 8 2016 show that today the MJO is currently located much closer to the NCPB MJO forecast than for the ECMM forecast.  See for yourself at:

http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-183.30,7.72,303
 
Edit 2: Or for those who do not like to click on links I provide the last two images for Jan 8 2016 from the Nullschool showing the MSLP and 850-hPa Wind, and 250-hPa Wind, Maps, respectively, which show the MJO centered exactly where the NCPB forecast (see first image) indicated that it would be today.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 05:30:46 PM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2016, 07:00:49 PM »
The attached map and associated NOAA linked website show the extreme reef alert conditions created by our current Super (Godzilla?) El Nino:

http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/vs/map.php
“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 #54 on: January 08, 2016, 11:07:17 PM »
I am not sure how much faith to put in long-term weather forecasts; but nevertheless, the four attached images are from the Wundermap forecast, with the images center east of the Dateline.  The image are for the dates of Jan 8, 19, 20, and 24, respectively.  I provide the image on the 8th as a reference of the current MJO actively; while it looks to me that the images of the 19th, 20th and 24th show still greater MJO activity (near the Dateline):
“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 #55 on: January 09, 2016, 03:20:57 AM »
Per the attached plot issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has drifted down to -11.5.  I remind readers that sustained negative values for the SOI sufficiently below -8 supports El Nino conditions while strong MJO values normal create conditions that degrade El Nino conditions; unless the MJO is located sufficiently close to the International Dateline (which happens to be the case at this time).
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Sleepy

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2016, 04:42:52 AM »
From an Eric Blake tweet.
2048 will be just fine.  ???

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2016, 03:26:01 PM »
The first two images are from the Nullschool & show the Wind & MSLP for Jan 9 2016 at the respective elevations of 850-hPa, and 250-hPa.  These images indicate that the MJO is located about where the NCPB forecast yesterday.

The last two images are from the U at Albany Wind Anom forecast from Jan 9 to 16, 2016 at the respective elevation of 850-hPa, and 200-hPa.  Notice that the WWB reaches a minimum on Jan 15, and starts increasing on Jan 16; just as yesterday's NCPB forecast would imply.  Also, note that the 200-hPa image indicates that the Walker Cell is currently configured to support El Nino conditions; which is supported by the falling SOI values (as indicated by today's daily Long Paddock Station's SOI value of -22)
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2016, 03:54:06 PM »
Per the attached NOAA GFS Ensemble (NCPB) MJO forecast from Jan 9 to 23 2016, the MJO is currently in the middle of the Eastern Pacific but by the 14th may be over the Atlantic/Africa before circling back to be at the International Dateline again by Jan 16, 2016, where it is projected to grow which should produce more WWB activity as indicated by the long-term Wundermap forecast that I posted yesterday.

Edit: I note that the Clivar website does not update uniformly, but it has updated the NCPO: National Centers for Environmental Prediction - Operational Global Forecast System, MJO forecast from Jan 9 to 23 2016, as shown in the second posted image (that approximates the first image).
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 04:42:38 PM by AbruptSLR »
“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 #59 on: January 09, 2016, 06:18:28 PM »
To some, it may seem that I have made a lot of posts just to illustrate that one MJO forecasting system may have a higher skill rating than another MJO forecasting system, for a given (unique?) set of circumstances.  However, this issue is just a distraction responding to doubts that Steven reasonably raised, while the real issue is how long will our current Super (possible Godzilla) El Nino keep having a major impact on various Earth Systems, possibly leading to accelerated global warming.

In this regard, Sleepy posted the first attached image of NOAA's CFSv2 Nino 3.4 uncorrected forecast issued Dec 30 2015, based on Dec 19-28 initial conditions; while the second image shows a comparable image issued Jan 9 2016, base on Dec 30-Jan 8 initial conditions (note that the current WWB began in earnest on Dec 30 2015).  Comparing these two figures you will see that in the first the average Nino 3.4 in January 2016 is below 2.5, while in the second image it is above 2.5.  This is a meaningful difference due primarily to the magnitude of the WWB in the initial conditions of the two forecasts.  Furthermore, if the MJO does loop back to the Dateline, circa Jan 16 2016, the projected high Nino 3.4 conditions could last long enough to prevent a La Nina condition in the second half of 2016.
“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 #60 on: January 10, 2016, 03:37:27 AM »
Per the attached plot issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has drifted up to -11.2:
“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 #61 on: January 10, 2016, 10:54:21 AM »
As the last Nullschool forecast (vs current reports) that I showed was for January 12, I now provide the three attached images forecast for January 14 2016.  The first & second images show the Earth Wind & TPW forecasts at 850-hPa and 250-hPa, respectively.  This images show a significant WWB, and a steady stream (conveyor belt of storms) of precipitable water being advected by the Asian Jetstream to the US West Coast.

The third image shows the Earth 1000-hPa Wind & Temperature forecast for Antarctica.  Note that this 1000-hPa data is probably only accurate at the 1000-hPa elevation along the coast line (as inland the ice sheet elevations are quite high).  Nevertheless, this plot shows that our current Super El Nino will advect sufficient atmospheric energy to Western Antarctica that there will be extensive ice surface melting (note that the green color is above freezing) along much of the coastal ice area, including the critical Amundsen Sea Embayment area.  This is a relatively infrequent event as speaks to both the strength of our current El Nino and the extent of global warming.
“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 #62 on: January 10, 2016, 03:12:37 PM »
I've learned since my last post that the term La Nada has already been reserved for neutral sea level in the equatorial Pacific, the dominant weather pattern there, but an still chasing down why we never hear of a strong or even a moderate La Nada. I suppose these would encroach on the Nino/Nina catastrophism narrative.

Meanwhile the southern tier of the US, the focus of literally thousands of pronouncements of greatly heightened rainfall, remains in the tenacious grip of what local Hispanics call El Bostezo (the big yawn) which is an element of a much larger US meteorological phenomenon termed El Bombo (the hype). That is, we remain in drought conditions (La Sequía) with no change in sight.

The recent series of typical winter zonal flow rain storms off the north-central Pacific were, as expected, called an 'atmospheric river' or pineapple express (Spanish: Atribución errónea) despite the widespread availability of nullschool.

While there's no doubt this extraordinary El Nino will have very significant global climatic impacts, it appears to me living here at Ground Zero USA that it has been over-written by even more forceful goings-on, namely a stationary jet stream lobe (like last year, only to the west).
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 03:20:36 PM by A-Team »

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2016, 03:34:05 PM »
The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge persists and I fear it will continue to emerge as a semi-permanent feature of northern hemisphere weather patterns.

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2016, 06:40:17 PM »
I've learned since my last post that the term La Nada has already been reserved for neutral sea level in the equatorial Pacific, the dominant weather pattern there, but an still chasing down why we never hear of a strong or even a moderate La Nada. I suppose these would encroach on the Nino/Nina catastrophism narrative.

Meanwhile the southern tier of the US, the focus of literally thousands of pronouncements of greatly heightened rainfall, remains in the tenacious grip of what local Hispanics call El Bostezo (the big yawn) which is an element of a much larger US meteorological phenomenon termed El Bombo (the hype). That is, we remain in drought conditions (La Sequía) with no change in sight.

The recent series of typical winter zonal flow rain storms off the north-central Pacific were, as expected, called an 'atmospheric river' or pineapple express (Spanish: Atribución errónea) despite the widespread availability of nullschool.

While there's no doubt this extraordinary El Nino will have very significant global climatic impacts, it appears to me living here at Ground Zero USA that it has been over-written by even more forceful goings-on, namely a stationary jet stream lobe (like last year, only to the west).


A-Team,
I like that science is constantly questioning, especially w.r.t. nonstationary situations associated with both climate change superimposed on the chaotic "strange attractor" behavior of the ENSO; which may account for a reasonable number of scientists erring on the side of least drama.  Therefore, when I speculate about problematic future events like the "Pineapple Express" or WWB's (excess speculation in the public media aside); it is helpful to be questioned, as under the scientific method, hopefully we will all learn from such questioning.  Therefore, I offer the following in response to your post:

First, the Western states is a large area, and strong El Ninos primarily impact precipitation in this area from January thru March, so it is valuable to observe the whole season and to compare to the past.  Furthermore, El Nino associated rain/snow has already started in California; which may be stealing much of the rain before it gets to places like Arizona; nevertheless, the following two linked articles and images show that in our current strongest ever recorded El Nino, most of the Western states are receiving a good snowpack (even if places like Tucson is not receiving much rainfall) :

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/30909302/western-snowpack-this-year-compared-to-past-el-nino-events

Extract associated with attached images: "We are in the midst of the strongest El Niño ever recorded. Generally, this means a wet winter for the southern tier of the Western states but drier conditions to our north. However, rules are meant to be broken, often proved by nature itself. So far this year, it seems the entire western U.S. is winning out on the snow.
The image [see first attached image] below compares the snowpack from January 1, 2016 to the median snowpack from the 30 years between 1981 and 2010. Basically all the greens, blues, and purples are good news. It means snowpack is right where it should be, or even better, for much of the western U.S.
Snowpack is a critical part of the western water supplies. As snow melts into spring, runoff fills reservoirs that feed our water-thirsty homes, businesses, and farms through the summer and fall. Even the headwaters of the Colorado River in Wyoming, northern Utah, and western Colorado have mostly average or above-average snowpack. This is good news for Arizona since this snowmelt fills Lake Mead, which then feeds our Central Arizona Project (CAP) water canals that end in Tucson.
Compare the above numbers to those of the 1997/98 El Niño below [see second attached image]. This El Niño event was the previous strength record holder. The oranges and reds on the map indicate below average snowpack on January 1, 1998.  You can see conditions were on the dry side for much of the western U.S. The exception is in Arizona and New Mexico. January 1998 was actually a dry month for Tucson, however wet weather hit in February and March."


The Jan 9 2016 snow report from Flagstaff Arizona indicates a good snowpack:

http://azdailysun.com/news/local/the-dangers-of-deep-powder-days/article_c63a2036-50b2-570d-b23a-09c2f3807daf.html

Second, it is fully possible/probable that climate change may result in an increased frequency/size of a "stationary jet stream lobe" or "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge", making it more complicated to make projections about precipitation events under a strong El Nino.  Which makes it even more important to wait patiently thru the end of March 2016 to gather as any observations as possible about the interactions of complex climate change and complex ENSO behavior.
Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

anthropocene

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2016, 06:43:25 PM »
Question aimed mainly at AbruptSLR because he has mentioned some evidence about this topic (but rather obliquely)  before but anybody else is welcome to comment. In a very simplistic way I see the default position to be that the (Pacific) ocean is absorbing more energy (temperature) as compared to the atmosphere. In El Nino conditions this changes and the main effect is (or main driver?) is that the Pacific ocean transmits energy to the atmosphere. Since with AGW the ocean is absorbing 90% of the additional energy then the differential between the (Pacific) ocean and the atmosphere is increasing (Is this correct?). Since El Nino is a main method for attempting to equalise this imbalance I would expect characteristics of El Nino to change. It seems that there are 3 main ways this could occur: El Ninos become more frequent, El Ninos become longer or El Ninos become stronger. Do the climate models make a prediction about this? To bring the discussion onto topic of this thread: Although this El Nino is a super-strength El Nino it is arguably no stronger than 1998 or 1983. I've seen no evidence that El Ninos are becoming more frequent. This only leaves El Ninos becoming longer: Since 2014 was predictied to be a El Nino year and spent a long time in almost El Nino conditions this would give some evidence that El Ninos are becoming longer. It would also suggest that if there is to be any variance from past behaviour in the latter stages of this El Nino then it will more likely be a lengthening of the transition to neutral conditions. Any thoughts?

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2016, 06:54:44 PM »
Back to the topic of WWBs and MJOs:

The first two images show the U at Albany 5S-5N Wind Anom forecasts from Jan 10 to 17 2016, for the 850-hPa, an the 200-hPa, elevations, respectively.  Collectively, these forecasts are more bullish for El Nino conditions than the forecast that Ventrice (in my view a true MJO expert) made using European Centre input as few days ago.

The last two images show the MJO forecast from Jan 10 to 24 2016, for NOAA's NCPB and for the European Centre's ECMM, respectively.  As the MJO is clearly still in the Eastern Pacific, this means that the NCPB forecast from a few days ago showed more skill than the ECMM forecast.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2016, 07:00:09 PM »
The two attached Nullschool Maps are for Wind and TPW for January 10, 2016 for 850-hPa, and 250-hPa, respectively.  As the position of the MJO is clearly closer to the NCPB MJO forecast, than for the ECMM MJO forecast, in my immediate preceding post, it is reasonable to assume that for the given current circumstances that the NOAA MJO forecast system is showing more skill than the European Centre MJO forecast system:
“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: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2016, 07:46:56 PM »
Question aimed mainly at AbruptSLR because he has mentioned some evidence about this topic (but rather obliquely)  before but anybody else is welcome to comment. In a very simplistic way I see the default position to be that the (Pacific) ocean is absorbing more energy (temperature) as compared to the atmosphere. In El Nino conditions this changes and the main effect is (or main driver?) is that the Pacific ocean transmits energy to the atmosphere. Since with AGW the ocean is absorbing 90% of the additional energy then the differential between the (Pacific) ocean and the atmosphere is increasing (Is this correct?). Since El Nino is a main method for attempting to equalise this imbalance I would expect characteristics of El Nino to change. It seems that there are 3 main ways this could occur: El Ninos become more frequent, El Ninos become longer or El Ninos become stronger. Do the climate models make a prediction about this? To bring the discussion onto topic of this thread: Although this El Nino is a super-strength El Nino it is arguably no stronger than 1998 or 1983. I've seen no evidence that El Ninos are becoming more frequent. This only leaves El Ninos becoming longer: Since 2014 was predictied to be a El Nino year and spent a long time in almost El Nino conditions this would give some evidence that El Ninos are becoming longer. It would also suggest that if there is to be any variance from past behaviour in the latter stages of this El Nino then it will more likely be a lengthening of the transition to neutral conditions. Any thoughts?


anthropocene,
I am running out of time to address the questions that you raise, so I point you to the 2015, and 2014, El Nino? threads linked below, and I provide a few selected extracts.
In summary, the question of whether global warming will result in more frequent, and/or stronger, El Ninos, is still under discussion, but I believe that that this discussion is leaning in favor of a "yes" answer.  Observations of the non-proxy record of Super El Ninos is relatively sparse so it is hard to say with certainty, but I lean in favor of erring on the side of human safety and assuming that it is true that global warming will result in both more frequent and larger El Ninos; which by default means that climate sensitivity is higher than the IPCC commonly assumes.  Certainly, if the NDJ, and/or the DJF, ONI index is at, or above, 2.5 for our current 15-16 event, then I would say that this evidence tends to support my position.
Best,
ASLR

For 2015 see:
http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1064.0.html

The following linked reference provides some more insights on the growing ENSO risks with continued global warming; however, it concludes with a call for still further research on this complex matter:

Wenju Cai, Agus Santoso, Guojian Wang, Sang-Wook Yeh, Soon-Il An, Kim M. Cobb, Mat Collins, Eric Guilyardi, Fei-Fei Jin, Jong-Seong Kug, Matthieu Lengaigne, Michael J. McPhaden, Ken Takahashi, Axel Timmermann, Gabriel Vecchi, Masahiro Watanabe & Lixin Wu (2015), "ENSO and greenhouse warming", Nature Climate Change, Volume: 5, Pages: 849–859, doi:10.1038/nclimate2743


http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n9/full/nclimate2743.html


Abstract: "The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the dominant climate phenomenon affecting extreme weather conditions worldwide. Its response to greenhouse warming has challenged scientists for decades, despite model agreement on projected changes in mean state. Recent studies have provided new insights into the elusive links between changes in ENSO and in the mean state of the Pacific climate. The projected slow-down in Walker circulation is expected to weaken equatorial Pacific Ocean currents, boosting the occurrences of eastward-propagating warm surface anomalies that characterize observed extreme El Niño events. Accelerated equatorial Pacific warming, particularly in the east, is expected to induce extreme rainfall in the eastern equatorial Pacific and extreme equatorward swings of the Pacific convergence zones, both of which are features of extreme El Niño. The frequency of extreme La Niña is also expected to increase in response to more extreme El Niños, an accelerated maritime continent warming and surface-intensified ocean warming. ENSO-related catastrophic weather events are thus likely to occur more frequently with unabated greenhouse-gas emissions. But model biases and recent observed strengthening of the Walker circulation highlight the need for further testing as new models, observations and insights become available."

For 2014 see:
http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,730.0.html

Furthermore, the following linked reference indicates that before 2040 CMIP5 models indicate that the amplitude of the ENSO phases will increase due to global warming:
Seon Tae Kim, Wenju Cai, Fei-Fei Jin, Agus Santoso, Lixin Wu, Eric Guilyardi & Soon-Il An, (2014), "Response of El Niño sea surface temperature variability to greenhouse warming", Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2326


http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2326.html

Abstract: "The destructive environmental and socio-economic impacts of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) demand an improved understanding of how ENSO will change under future greenhouse warming. Robust projected changes in certain aspects of ENSO have been recently established. However, there is as yet no consensus on the change in the magnitude of the associated sea surface temperature (SST) variability, commonly used to represent ENSO amplitude, despite its strong effects on marine ecosystems and rainfall worldwide. Here we show that the response of ENSO SST amplitude is time-varying, with an increasing trend in ENSO amplitude before 2040, followed by a decreasing trend thereafter. We attribute the previous lack of consensus to an expectation that the trend in ENSO amplitude over the entire twenty-first century is unidirectional, and to unrealistic model dynamics of tropical Pacific SST variability. We examine these complex processes across 22 models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) database, forced under historical and greenhouse warming conditions. The nine most realistic models identified show a strong consensus on the time-varying response and reveal that the non-unidirectional behaviour is linked to a longitudinal difference in the surface warming rate across the Indo-Pacific basin. Our results carry important implications for climate projections and climate adaptation pathways."

The following  two abstracts from the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meetings, in February 2014 in Hawaii clearly supports the conclusion that due to global warming we can expect to experience more frequent  strong El Nino events, both now and in the future:


"MORE FREQUENT EMERGENCE OF EL NIÑO PROPAGATION ASYMMETRY DUE TO GREENHOUSE WARMING

Sea surface temperature anomalies typically propagate westward along the equatorial Pacific during both El Niño and La Niña events. Since the late 1970’s however, an opposite propagation has been observed, most prominently during extreme El Niño events. This propagation asymmetry challenges existing theories on how ENSO works. Through heat budget analysis utilising various observational data assimilation systems, the equatorial Pacific currents are found to be an important element for this asymmetry, whereby the westward flowing currents are enhanced during La Niña but reversed during extreme El Niño events. Our results highlight that propagation asymmetry is favoured when the westward mean currents weaken. By analysing climate models that participated in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phases 3 and 5, it is found that as the mean currents weaken under global warming, an aggregate of models with more realistic propagation behaviour indeed simulate a doubling in the frequency of eastward propagating El Niños. Our results have implications for understanding ENSO behaviour across models, and suggest that more frequent emergence of eastward El Niño will be a symptom of a warming climate."


Authors
Santoso, A., University of New South Wales, Australia, a.santoso@unsw.edu.au

McGregor, S., University of New South Wales, Australia, shayne.mcgregor@unsw.edu.au

Jin, F. F., University of Hawaii, USA, jff@hawaii.edu

Cai, W., CSIRO, Australia, wenju.cai@csiro.au

England, M. H., University of New South Wales, Australia, m.england@unsw.edu.au

"INFERRED CHANGES IN EL NIÑO-SOUTHERN OSCILLATION VARIANCE OVER THE PAST SIX CENTURIES

It is vital to understand how the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has responded to past changes in natural and anthropogenic forcings, in order to better understand and predict its response to future greenhouse warming. To date, however, the instrumental record is too brief to fully characterize natural ENSO variability, while large discrepancies exist amongst paleo-proxy reconstructions of ENSO. These paleo-proxy reconstructions have typically attempted to reconstruct ENSO’s temporal evolution, rather than the variance of these temporal changes. Here a new approach is developed that synthesizes the variance changes from various proxy datasets to provide a unified and updated estimate of past ENSO variance. The method is tested using surrogate data from two coupled general circulation model (CGCM) simulations. It is shown that in the presence of dating uncertainties, synthesizing variance information provides a more robust estimate of ENSO variance than synthesizing the raw data and then identifying its running variance. Synthesizing existing ENSO reconstructions to arrive at a better estimate of past ENSO variance changes, we find robust evidence that the ENSO variance for any 30-year period during the interval 1590-1880 was considerably lower than that observed during 1979-2009."


Authors
McGregor, S., Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, Australia, shayne.mcgregor@unsw.edu.au

Timmermann, A., IPRC, University of Hawaii, USA, axel@hawaii.edu

England, M. H., Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, Australia, m.england@unsw.edu.au

Elison Timm, O., University at Albany, State University of New York, USA, oelisontimm@albany.edu

Wittenberg, A. T., GFDL, NOAA, USA, andrew.wittenberg@noaa.go

The linked reference indicates that following a RCP 8.5 scenario will result in a tripling of the frequency of extreme positive IOP events, indicates that extreme El Nino events will also become more frequent in the future:

Wenju Cai, Agus Santoso, Guojian Wang, Evan Weller, Lixin Wu, Karumuri Ashok, Yukio Masumoto & Toshio Yamagata, (2014), "Increased frequency of extreme Indian Ocean Dipole events due to greenhouse warming", Nature, 510,254–258, doi:10.1038/nature13327


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v510/n7504/full/nature13327.html

Abstract: "The Indian Ocean dipole is a prominent mode of coupled ocean–atmosphere variability, affecting the lives of millions of people in Indian Ocean rim countries. In its positive phase, sea surface temperatures are lower than normal off the Sumatra–Java coast, but higher in the western tropical Indian Ocean. During the extreme positive-IOD (pIOD) events of 1961, 1994 and 1997, the eastern cooling strengthened and extended westward along the equatorial Indian Ocean through strong reversal of both the mean westerly winds and the associated eastward-flowing upper ocean currents. This created anomalously dry conditions from the eastern to the central Indian Ocean along the Equator and atmospheric convergence farther west, leading to catastrophic floods in eastern tropical African countries but devastating droughts in eastern Indian Ocean rim countries. Despite these serious consequences, the response of pIOD events to greenhouse warming is unknown. Here, using an ensemble of climate models forced by a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5), we project that the frequency of extreme pIOD events will increase by almost a factor of three, from one event every 17.3 years over the twentieth century to one event every 6.3 years over the twenty-first century. We find that a mean state change—with weakening of both equatorial westerly winds and eastward oceanic currents in association with a faster warming in the western than the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean—facilitates more frequent occurrences of wind and oceanic current reversal. This leads to more frequent extreme pIOD events, suggesting an increasing frequency of extreme climate and weather events in regions affected by the pIOD."
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #69 on: January 11, 2016, 02:20:22 AM »
Per the following data issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has drifted down to -11.3:

20151211,20160109,-11.3


Edit: Here is the associated plot
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 02:26:45 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #70 on: January 11, 2016, 04:33:42 PM »
Per NOAA for the week centered on Jan 6 2016 the Nino 3.4 dropped down to 2.6, while the following table compares 1997-98 Nino values to corresponding weeks in 2015-16:

                     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
 07JAN1998     28.0 4.0     28.9 3.4     29.2 2.6     29.1 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
 06JAN2016     25.7 1.8     28.1 2.7     29.1 2.6     29.7 1.4

All of the attached plots were issued by NOAA on Jan 11 2016 through the week centered on Jan 6 2016.  The first plot shows the Eq Pac SSTA evolution, the second shows the past four weeks of Eq Pac SSTA plots, the third shows the Eq Pac Upper-Ocean Heat Anom, and the fourth shows the Eq Pac Upper-Ocean Heat Anom Evolution.  All of these plot indicate that the current upwelling phase of the EKW is about to end and we will soon see whether the current WWB activity is strong enough to trigger a new downwelling phase of the EKW.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2016, 04:48:46 PM »
The four attached plot were all issued today by the BoM for the week ending Jan 10 2016, showing that the Nino 1, 2, 3 & 4 indices, respectively, are all down, which is characteristic of a trough in the EKW activity as the current upwelling phase is bottoming out.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #72 on: January 11, 2016, 04:54:42 PM »
The first two images were issued today by the BoM for the week ending Jan 10, 2016 with the first plot showing that the Nino 3.4 has dropped down to +2.16, and the second showing that the IOD may have bottomed-out and might (or might not) rebound upward from its neutral condition.

The last two images show that the NCPB, and the ECMM, MJO forecasts, respectively, continue to converge towards each other, with the NCPB showing that the MJO should not return to the Dateline next week but rather may return to the far Eastern portion of the Equatorial Pacific.  Thus the NCPB is less bullish than last week but continues to be more bullish than the ECMM.
“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 #73 on: January 11, 2016, 05:03:50 PM »
The first two images were issued today by the U at Albany showing the 5S-5N Wind Anom forecasts from Jan 11 to 18 2016 for the 850-hPa, and 200-hPa, elevations, respectively.  These forecasts show the level of the currently strong WWB decreasing to moderate from the beginning to the end of the forecast period.

The third image shows the Earth 850-hPa Wind & TPW Map for Jan 11 2016, showing that the WWB is currently strong, that the MJO is were NOAA predicted that it would be, and that the Asian Jetstream continues to convey steady waves of moderate storms to the US West Coast.

The last image shows the BoM Dateline cloud cover circa Jan 11 2016, indicating that the cloud cover is decreasing as the MJO shifts Eastward, but that there are still above average cloud cover for this time of year.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #74 on: January 11, 2016, 05:46:00 PM »
The linked reference discusses a decadally-delayed response of the ENSO to the AMO variability.  Note that the AMO is currently entering a cooling phase and that per this research this implies that about 30-years from now (circa 2045) the ENSO will be entering a warming phase, perhaps stronger than our current phase of positive PDO behavior:

Davide Zanchettin, Oliver Bothe, Hans F. Graf, Nour-Eddine Omrani, Angelo Rubino & Johann H. Jungclaus (2016), "A decadally-delayed response of the tropical Pacific to Atlantic multidecadal variability", Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL067284

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL067284/abstract

Abstract: "North Atlantic sea-surface temperature anomalies are known to affect tropical Pacific climate variability and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) through thermocline adjustment in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Here, coupled climate simulations featuring repeated idealized cycles of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) generated by nudging its tropical branch demonstrate that the tropical Pacific response to the AMO also entails a substantial decadally-delayed component. The simulations robustly show multidecadal fluctuations in central equatorial Pacific sea-surface temperatures lagging the AMO by about three decades and a sub-decadal cold-to-warm transition of the tropical Pacific mean state during the AMO's cooling phase. The interplay between out-of-phase responses of seawater temperature and salinity in the western Pacific and associated density anomalies in local thermocline waters emerge as crucial factors of remotely-driven multidecadal variations of the equatorial Pacific climate. The delayed AMO influences on tropical Pacific dynamics could help understanding past and future ENSO variability."
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #75 on: January 11, 2016, 10:29:07 PM »

The following link leads to NOAA's weekly MJO update issued January 11, 2016.  The extract, and first attached image (showing the evolution of the 200-hPa wind potential), indicates that for at least another week the MJO will work constructively with the current El Nino:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/mjoupdate.pdf

Extract: "The MJO remained active during the past week, with the enhanced phase now over the east-central Pacific.
Dynamical model forecasts of the MJO index generally support a continued eastward propagation of the MJO signal, although there is considerable spread among the guidance and the forcing mechanisms by which the models continue the signal is unclear.
The MJO is likely to continue to constructively interfere with the ongoing El Nino for at least the first week of the outlook period. Week-2 has high uncertainty with some models completely eliminating any MJO signal.
The MJO is likely to continue playing a role in the pattern of anomalous convection along with the ongoing El Nino."

The second, image shows the Earth 250-hPa Wind & TPW Map for Jan 11, 2016; indicating that the MJO may not be as far east as either the NCPB, or the ECMM, forecast for Jan 11.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #76 on: January 12, 2016, 02:26:25 AM »
Per the following data issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average has drifted down to -11.4:

20151212,20160110,-11.4

Edit: Here is the plot
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 02:46:19 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #77 on: January 12, 2016, 04:51:04 PM »
The linked Climate Central article indicate NOAA's forecast of increased precipitation (see attachment) during the 15-16 Winter months, due to the current Super El Nino:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/el-nino-peaks-but-impacts-to-come-19900
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #78 on: January 12, 2016, 04:57:47 PM »
The first two images show the U at Albany's 5S-5N Wind Anom forecast from Jan 12 to 19 2016 for altitudes of 850-hPa and 200-hPa, respectively.  These projections are relatively close to Ventrice's projections from last week, but are slightly more bullish for El Nino support.

The last two images show the Nullschool Wind & TPW Maps at 850-hPa, and 250-hPa, respectively.  These closely match the UatA forecast, supporting the idea that the MJO has now left the Eastern Pacific and the associated WWB is beginning to decline.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #79 on: January 12, 2016, 05:20:13 PM »
As the ECMM MJO forecast has not been updated, I provide NOAA's GFS Ensemble (NCPB) MJO forecast from Jan 12 to 26 2016.  This plot shows that yesterday the MJO was still in the far Eastern Pacific, but today should be over Africa.  This indicates to me that the most skillful forecast for the MJO last week would have been to split the difference between NOAA's (more bullish) and the European Centre's (more bearish) forecasts, as the MJO remained in the Pacific longer than the EC forecast but the MJO never looped back to the Dateline as NOAA forecast.  So we are left with a strong (but not overwhelmingly strong) WWB; which might (or might not) trigger a new downwelling phase of the EKW (note that the SOI currently is in the El Nino range and the MJO is rapidly declining in magnitude as it leaves the Pacific, so the MJO should not be a significant destructive factor for continuingly negative SOI values).

Edit: Here is the ECMM MJO forecast from Jan 12 to 26 2016
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 05:49:19 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #80 on: January 12, 2016, 06:34:13 PM »
Who knows, with the potentially disruptive MJO (in the Indian Ocean) near zero by January 16  2016 (per both the NCPB & the ECMM), maybe the local conditions near the Dateline will support El Nino conditions as indicated by the attached Earth 850-hPa & MSLP forecast for Jan 16th.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #81 on: January 12, 2016, 07:31:47 PM »
This indicates to me that the most skillful forecast for the MJO last week would have been to split the difference between NOAA's (more bullish) and the European Centre's (more bearish) forecasts, as the MJO remained in the Pacific longer than the EC forecast but the MJO never looped back to the Dateline as NOAA forecast. 


It looks like the ECMF product performed best.  Note that this is slightly different from the ECMM product that you are using.

The image below shows the ECMF MJO forecast that was issued on 30 December (left), 5 January (middle), and 12 January (right), respectively.  Clearly, this forecast performed very well during the last few weeks:




(See here for larger version of the image.) 


The link below shows an animation of how these ECMF MJO forecasts changed during the last 7 days (see date label at the top of each image of the animation):

http://i.imgur.com/Ewywpon.gif


Finally, the link below shows a similar animation for NCEP's MJO forecast (more precisely, the NCPB product, which uses bias-corrected output of GFS model), which clearly performed poorly:

http://i.imgur.com/zgLpZ4n.gif

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #82 on: January 12, 2016, 11:15:53 PM »
I thought that the linked University of Washington article had some very interesting things to say about the impact of the Godzilla El Nino on West Coast weather, on its interaction with remnants of the Blob, and impacts on future PDO values:

http://www.washington.edu/news/2016/01/11/northwest-winter-weather-el-nino-coastal-effects-no-more-blob/

Extract: "What some have called the “Godzilla El Niño” is now lumbering ashore, right on schedule. El Niño tends to influence North American weather after the first of January, and indeed, we’re seeing warm temperatures in Alaska and much-needed rain in California.



The West Coast effects of El Niño tend to peak in January and February and continue to be felt through March. But the Godzilla El Niño in the tropical Pacific doesn’t necessarily mean we need to brace for monster-sized effects in this region.
“There’s not a strict relationship between the magnitude of the El Niño and the magnitude of the response at the higher latitudes,” Bond said. “Sometimes more moderate El Niños seem to have a really big response, and other times the strong ones have a more moderate response. It’s not a one-to-one relationship.”
So far, this El Niño is shaping up to be a textbook event, said Cliff Mass, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences who has covered the topic on his blog.
“It’s been following the typical route for a strong El Niño,” Mass said. “Typically, even a strong El Niño doesn’t have a lot of implications for this region in the early winter, but after the first of the year the teleconnections develop and the jet stream splits to bring rainstorms to California and Alaska, with Washington right in the middle,” he said.
“This El Niño is following the typical game plan, particularly the increasing effects after the new year.”
Observations show this El Niño is already weakening in the tropics, Mass said, and models suggest a neutral situation by the middle of summer, and either neutral or the opposing La Niña phase by next winter.


El Niño’s effects on the ocean will largely replace the phenomenon known as “the blob,” the unusually warm patch in the northern Pacific that influenced coastal weather and marine ecosystems in 2014 and 2015.
That pattern – which included ocean temperatures of up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than usual – continues to be a subject of scientific study. A workshop at the UW Jan. 20 and 21 will review the unusual pattern of the blob, its effects, whether this event could have been forecast, and also consider how any remnants may be interacting with El Niño.
Although the warm-water blob is now mostly history, climate models project that the coastal winds will be more from the south than usual, resulting in a strip of relatively warm water along the West Coast this spring, Bond said. This phenomenon is related to yet another climate cycle known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
“All the models are showing that to be the case, but to varying extent. It looks like it will be warm enough along the coast to have some significant effects,” Bond said. “People are keeping an eye on that, because the ocean has [already] been warm for a couple of years. If that continues, it’s going to have implications for the marine ecosystem.”"
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #83 on: January 13, 2016, 12:15:37 AM »
Per the first two attached NOAA images of the Eq Pac Subsurface Profile for Jan 8, 2016, for the Temperature Anom, and the Temperature, respectively; it looks like the upwelling phase has ended (note the deep tough of cool water is breaking up).  This impression is supported by the third NOAA image of the Eq Pac Upper Ocean Heat Anom circa Jan 11 2016; which shows the Heat Anom is now increasing (presumably as another downwelling phase moves eastward due to the current WWB).
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #84 on: January 13, 2016, 03:29:35 AM »
Per the attached plot issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has dropped down to -12.1:
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #85 on: January 13, 2016, 10:45:31 AM »
With regards to the earlier posts, what appears to be the start of a new downwelling phase can also be seen on the TAO sensor array sectional (contours). The TOA data pentad leads the pentad analysis that appears on the NOAA page by a couple of days. It shows that the cold water has been pinched off and warmer water now reaches some depth. One had to think that the extended WWB of the last week or so would produce some sort of response even though the warm pool in the kelvin wave generation area has largely been displaced by the current El Nino event. It looks as though it has.

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #86 on: January 13, 2016, 04:22:53 PM »
While it does appear that the ECMF has better long-term MJO forecasts (partly because this raw dynamic forecast is not corrected for stationary climatology conditions that are likely out of date due to non-stationary global warming), it is not posted until later in the day and I still trust NOAA's GFS Ensemble MJO forecast over the 1 to 3-day range, so the first attached forecast indicates that the MJO should be destructive to El Nino conditions until the 15th and then should be neutral.

The second & third images show the U at Albany 5S-5N Wind Anom forecast from Jan 13 to 20 2016, for the 850-hPa, and 200-hPa, elevations, respectively, showing the WWB decreasing first rapidly and then slowly, in that timeframe.

The fourth image shows the Earth 850-hPa Wind & TPW forecast for Jan 17 2016, showing: (a) rain to hit California, (b) moderate to weak westerly wind near the Dateline, and (c) weak SPCZ activity.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #87 on: January 13, 2016, 05:44:46 PM »
I tend to resist talking about daily Nino indices, but as the four attached Tropical Tidbits plots or the Nino 1&2, 3, 3.4 and 4 indices, respectively, thru Jan 13 2016, show an emerging pattern of the reflection of the old downwelling phase off the coast of Ecuador, causing the 1&2, the 3 (note the current +2.822 daily value) and the 3.4 (note the current +2.341 daily value) indices to begin to increase, plus the Nino 4 index cooling as it pulls in relatively cool surface water from the somewhat depleted Western Warm Water pool as the current WWB send a new downwelling pulse (see the pulse of deep warm water near the Dateline shown by gregb) eastward from the Dateline.  If this assessment is correct we should see a secondary peak in the weekly Nino 3.4 index in about two to four weeks time.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #88 on: January 13, 2016, 06:34:05 PM »
For what it is worth, the latest (blue) members of the NOAA CFSv2 Nino 3.4 uncorrected forecast shows an increase in this index resulting in a secondary peak in two to four weeks (supporting the Tropical Tidbits pattern); however, I do realize that such member forecasts are subject to change.

The second plot shows the ECMF MJO forecast from Jan 13 to 27 2016, showing a similar pattern as the NOAA forecast through Jan 15 (at least).
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #89 on: January 13, 2016, 10:08:26 PM »
The three attached NASA Sea Level residual plots, from the Jason -2 Satellite, for Nov 18, Dec 3 and Dec 27, 2015, respectively, indicate the size of our current El Nino event and where the ocean heat content is located.
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #90 on: January 14, 2016, 01:10:57 AM »
Cat 1 Hurricane Pali is projected to weaken as it moves southwest toward the Equatorial International Dateline:

http://phys.org/news/2016-01-nasa-hurricane-pali-rainfall.html

On Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. EST (5 a.m. HST/1500 UTC) NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) reported the center of Hurricane Pali was located near latitude 4.2 north and longitude 171.8 west. That's about 875 miles (1,410 km) south of Johnston Island and 1,505 miles (2,420 km) southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii. Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph (130 kph) and weakening is forecast over the next couple of days. Pali's hurricane force winds were concentrated and extended outward up to 10 miles (20 km) from the center. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km).

Pali was moving toward the south-southwest near 8 mph (13 kph) and a turn toward the southwest later today will be followed by a turn toward the west by Friday, Jan. 15. For updated forecasts, visit NOAA's CPHC:

http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/cphc/

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #91 on: January 14, 2016, 01:18:29 AM »
Per Wunderground the first attached image is the storm track for Hurricane Pali as of 4pm Eastern Time Jan 13 2016, which is slightly more bullish that what the Nullschool Map is indicating (as it is shown on a more northerly track than the Nullschool Map is showing).  This could be an interesting storm to watch

http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/central-pacific/2016/hurricane-Pali


See also the second attached image of model projections from:

http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/central-pacific/2016/hurricane-Pali?map=model
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 01:24:23 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #92 on: January 14, 2016, 02:43:04 AM »
Per the attached plot issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has continued dropping to -12.7:
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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #93 on: January 14, 2016, 04:08:03 PM »
The first plot shows NOAA's GFS Ensemble (NCPB) MJO forecast from Jan 14 to 28, 2016; which indicates that the MJO on Jan 13 was stronger than that forecast by the ECMF and relatively close to that forecast by NOAA.  As this somewhat strong MJO is destructive to El Nino conditions, this helps to explain how abruptly the WWB has weakened as indicated by the second plot by the U at Albany 5S-5N 850-hPa Wind Anom forecast from Jan 14 to 21 2016, and also helps to explain why Hurricane Pali has now been downgraded to Tropical Depression Pali (see the third image of the Earth 850-hPa Wind & TPW Map for Jan 14 2016), but it is projected to stay north of the equator (see the fourth image of the modeled storm tracks forecast on Jan 14 2016):

Extract: "Tropical Depression Pali
Last Updated: ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2016, ‎7‎:‎00‎:‎00‎ ‎AM (Pacific Standard Time)
•   Location: 2.5N 173.0W
•   Movement: SW at 5 mph
•   Wind: 35 MPH
•   Pressure: 1003 MB"

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

Tor Bejnar

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #94 on: January 14, 2016, 04:10:15 PM »
Hurricane Alex in the Atlantic may be considered to be part of the 'aftermath' of the waning(?) El Niño. (That, and a product of global warming.)
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #95 on: January 14, 2016, 06:59:58 PM »
The linked article references research by Matthew Widlansky and Axel Timmermann at the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, and their colleague Wenju Cai at CSIRO in Australia, that indicate that local sea level fluctuations associated with the ENSO cycle will likely double the associated frequency of extreme local sea level events  (particularly in the Southwestern Pacific, near Australia) by 2100:


http://phys.org/news/2015-09-extreme-pacific-sea-events-future.html

Extract: "During El Niño, warm water and high sea levels shift eastward, leaving in their wake low sea levels in the western Pacific. Scientists have already shown that this east-west seesaw is often followed six months to a year later by a similar north-south sea level seesaw with water levels dropping by up to one foot (30 cm) in the Southern Hemisphere. Such sea level drops expose shallow marine ecosystems in South Pacific Islands, causing massive coral die-offs with a foul smelling tide called taimasa (pronounced [kai' ma'sa]) by Samoans.
The team of scientists recently asked, how will future greenhouse warming affect the El Niño sea level seesaws? The scientist used state-of-the-art climate models, which accounted for increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, together with simulations of the observed climate and tide-gauge records to verify the model results. They determined that projected climate change will enhance El Niño-related sea level extremes. By the end of this century the experiments show that the intensified wind impacts of strong El Niño and La Niña events are likely to double the frequency of extreme sea level occurrences, especially in the tropical southwestern Pacific."
“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: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #96 on: January 14, 2016, 07:06:23 PM »
Per the linked Wunderground article, Tropical Depression Pali should be history in a few hours as it has moved too close to the equator which limits the ability of the Coriolis force to give it spin:

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/alex-becomes-the-atlantics-first-january-hurricane-since-1955

Extract: "Hurricane Pali weakens to a tropical depression near equator
Late Wednesday was the first time in the modern era of tropical cyclone observing and prediction that we had simultaneous named systems in the Atlantic (Alex) and Central Pacific (Pali)--or, for that matter, anywhere in the Pacific. Pali is the earliest named storm and earliest hurricane on record between the International Date Line and the Americas. It reached Category 2 strength (85 knots or 100 mph) on Tuesday. While Alex was strengthening into a hurricane on Wednesday night, Pali was falling apart. By Thursday morning, Pali had decayed into Tropical Depression Pali, located at 173.0°W and just 2.5°N. Now experiencing moderate to strong wind shear, Pali should be history within the next few hours. Very few tropical cyclones have made it as close to the equator as Pali, since they normally rely on the Corilis force (which is stronger at higher latitudes) to give them a cyclonic spin. Only two other tropical cyclones have been known to make it within 2° latitude of the equator. When it formed south of 5°N latitude on January 7, Pali became the first tropical cyclone known to have existed in any of the equatorial regions used to monitor El Niño sea-surface conditions."
“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: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #97 on: January 14, 2016, 10:55:19 PM »
Per NOAA's ENSO Blog post by Emily Becker on Jan 14 2016, the January El Nino has a lot going on!

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/january-el-ni%C3%B1o-update-it%E2%80%99s-got-lot-going

Extract: "El Niño is ultimately measured on seasonal timescales, though, so the average of the sea surface temperature anomaly (departure from the long-term average) over three months is what we really pay attention to. In October–December 2015, the Oceanic Niño Index was 2.25°C, tied with the same period in 1997.

Whenever the MJO acts up during an El Niño event – like now - there is a tendency to say that the MJO is making the El Niño stronger, or even causing it to exist in the first place. A recent article about the MJO in Science started off by claiming that a clutch of MJO events last March caused the onset of the current strong [El Niño] event.
There’s a clear logic to this: westerly surface winds on the equator are a critical part of El Niño, and the active phase of the MJO brings those. And whereas the MJO’s clouds, rain, and surface westerlies normally tend to fizzle when the active phase reaches the Central Pacific, during El Niño, the warmer waters near and east of the dateline allow the MJO to hold itself together longer. This allows the MJO’s westerlies to reinforce surface warming.
But the MJO is, like its name says, an oscillation. The westerly anomalies are followed quickly by easterly ones, so that the average effect might be very little over the longer time scale of ENSO. And we know there would be central and eastern Pacific westerlies during El Niño even without the MJO. Westerlies have been present for the past several months, but for much of that time there has been no sign of the eastward propagation that is the MJO’s trademark.
Clearly, the question of how the MJO and El Niño act to reinforce or weaken each other is still up for debate.

In with the new

Regardless of the cause, there was a very strong westerly wind burst near the Date line early this month. Often, but not always, these wind bursts kick off downwelling Kelvin waves, sending an area of warmer subsurface waters eastward. We’ll have to wait to see if this develops to know what impact it could have on slowing the decay of El Niño through the spring."

Edit: The attached plot of NOAA's Eq Pac Upper Ocean Heat Anom circa Jan 14 2016 provides a little bit more of an indication that the recent WWB has triggered a downwelling Kelvin wave of some unknown magnitude.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 11:30:26 PM by AbruptSLR »
“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: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #98 on: January 15, 2016, 02:43:21 AM »
Per the attached plot issued today by the BoM, the 30-day moving average SOI has drifted down to -12.8:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Sleepy

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Re: 2015/16 El Niño, the aftermath
« Reply #99 on: January 15, 2016, 06:06:03 AM »
There are certainly a lot of people around the planet holding their breath now. Here's the rainfall forecast from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, in pictures.