Forecasters predict El Niño may return by summer 

Posted: March 1, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, ENSO, Forecasting

The El Niño of 1997-8

The El Niño of 1997-8

The report says ‘the possible return of El Niño this year would present a unique situation’. Is there still excess heat in the system as sunspots go further into ‘quiet mode’?

The path to another round of El Niño in 2017 appears to be shortening, as tropical Pacific Ocean waters have been warming at a substantial rate. Several models suggest that El Niño could be comfortably in place as early as May.

Weather forecasters have been eyeing for a couple of months a possible return this year of El Niño, which normally comes around every two to seven years and last occurred in 2015/16.

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is one of the most widely followed long-term indicators of climate, as both its warm and cool phases can trigger varying effects on weather patterns globally.

El Niño, which is associated with warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) along the equatorial Pacific, is known to bring volatile weather to some parts of the world and is closely watched by agricultural and energy markets. Some notable impacts include droughts in Southeast Asia and heavy rains and erosion along the Pacific coasts of North and South America.

La Niña, the cool phase of ENSO, just concluded its six-month run last month. In the last several weeks, remnants of the colder waters have been all but eliminated.

In the week centered on Feb. 22, the SST anomaly was positive 2.3 degrees Celsius in the Niño 1+2 region, the easternmost of the four Niño regions, directly off the coast of Peru. Warming in this region sometimes precedes the onset of El Niño.

To put this into perspective, since weekly record-keeping began in 1990, the only other instances that featured warmer SST anomalies in this region occurred during the mega-El Niños of 2015/16 and 1997/98, as well as the moderate-to-strong El Niño in early 1992.

The week centered on Jan. 25, 2017, also recorded a 2-degree anomaly, so the latest value is not necessarily an outlier. But if this trend eventually translates into a full-on El Niño later in the year, the outcome would be unprecedented.

A record-breaking El Niño surfaced in mid-2015 and lasted through early 2016, after which SSTs dropped off and gave way to the relatively weaker La Niña event to cap off the year.

But following the previous occurrences of strong El Niño – 1997/98, 1982/83, 1972/73 – the warm cycle did not appear again until three or four years later. So the possible return of El Niño this year would present a unique situation against which there is not much comparable data.

The report continues here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    Iceland’s capital has biggest snowfall in 80 years with 20 inches in 24 hours

    It is the largest snowfall in a single day ever in February in Iceland’s recorded history.

    Read more:

  2. Jaime Jessop says:

    Since recording began, the phenomenon of back-to-back El Ninos would appear to be unprecedented. If we get another strong El Nino, it will be something of a unique event. I wonder what it means for the global climate though. Another huge tranche of heat released from the Pacific, mere months after the last, with no obvious mechanism to replenish that heat in such a short period. Sounds like bad news for warmists to me.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Australian BOM: the Bureau’s ENSO Outlook status has been upgraded to El Niño WATCH, meaning the likelihood of El Niño forming in 2017 is approximately 50%.

    All atmospheric and oceanic indicators of ENSO are currently within neutral thresholds. However, sea surface temperatures have been increasing in the eastern Pacific Ocean and are now warmer than average for the first time since June 2016.

    ‘Dwarf’ sunspot cycle continues…

  4. Jaime Jessop says:

    Scientists tell us we narrowly missed the inception of a new ice age just before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Since then , solar activity has proceeded to a super Grand Maximum and is now ominously tailing off, threatening a new Grand Minimum. All of this is absolutely irrelevant of course because . . . . CO2.

  5. AlecM says:

    Talk about Climate Alchemy desperation………

  6. oldbrew says:

    A few months ago it was 50% chance of La Niña but that didn’t happen.

  7. Bitter&twisted says:

    “So the possible return of El Niño this year would present a unique situation against which there is not much comparable data”
    For which we can blame that root of all evils, CO2.
    And the climastrologists will.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Opinion piece: ‘We are living on a rapidly cooling planet, people are dying from the cold, yet there are politicians, governmental organizations and a host of people who have swallowed the global warming hysteria.’

    That’s the opening sentence. Later…

    ‘Obama specifically will be made to look like the biggest fool on the planet…’ [etc.]

  9. Bulaman says:

    Current SOI shows neutral. Bit hard to see that it is more than a coin toss..

    [reply] yes but their ‘wrap-up’ says the likelihood is on the increase

  10. Curious George says:

    El Niño returns? Blame Big Oil, Big Coal, and CO2.
    La Niña returns? Blame Big Oil, Big Coal, and CO2.
    No El Niño or La Niña? Blame Big Oil, Big Coal, and CO2.

  11. njsnowfan says:

    I find with lower sunspots, the warm water of oceans don’t mix well and hangs around and more warm rises to the surface. Looks like things are setting up for a strong decline down the road the longer this occurs.
    Shorter El nino’s during stronger solar cycle and stronger la Nina’s during stronger solar cycles.
    13-14 and 14-15 winters broke the 50 year cycle of mostly only having big ice cover on great lakes near the bottom of the solar cycles. ZI see weak solar pushes PDO up and creates Ridging and creates #LIA like pattern .

  12. Jaime Jessop says:

    There’s a suggestion from a recent study that El Ninos were more frequent during the LIA. Makes sense to me. A cooling planet radiates heat. A very effective way of doing this is via recurrent Ninos.

  13. oldbrew says:

    Somebody is not worried about warming.

    Date: 02/03/17

  14. ren says:

    What happens, and WHY? The sun spots appear to be associated with more energy reaching earth, and solar minima are associated with less heat, or global cooling. The oceans are vast reservoirs of heat for earth and by Le Chatelier’s principle will try to react so as to minimize any change in solar heating. Thus the oceans and weather react to release heat from the oceans to the continental masses at minima. In this time Peru receives both more heat and more water. But if Peru gets more water, some other area must get less… in fact most will get less since there is less total energy to produce water vapor. Thus el nio is associated with drought in most places. Australia, areas of Indonesia, the US high planes and the Russian/ Asian steppes all suffer. The monsoons also fail in India. The el nio brings added water from the ocean, to costal Peru and moderation (warming of the coldest months, cooling of the warmer months) of the pacific Peruvian costal climate, but also dumps water causing mud slides etc. in California. Thus it is a truly global phenomena.
    Therefore, the oceans will accumulate less heat.

  15. oldbrew says:

    ‘solar minima are associated with less heat, or global cooling.’

    Yes, but even then the individual solar cycles will rise to their own maximum before dropping away, just like all the others except such a maximum will tend to have a lower number of sunspots than the average value – a lot lower in some cases.

    In other words, flatlining shouldn’t be expected.

  16. Bulaman says:

    Think they might change the outlook?