2019 ENSO forecast

Posted: April 5, 2019 by oldbrew in ENSO, Forecasting

We like a forecast at the Talkshop. Let’s see how this one goes.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry and Jim Johnstone

CFAN’s 2019 ENSO forecast is for a transition away from El Niño conditions as the summer progresses. The forecast for Sept-Oct-Nov 2019 calls for 60% probability of ENSO neutral conditions, with 40% probability of weak El Niño conditions. – Forecast issued 3/25/19

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  1. oldbrew says:

    Date: 05/04/19 Ron Clutz, Science Matters

    For the last few years, observers have been speculating about when the North Atlantic will start the next phase shift from warm to cold. Given the way 2018 went, this may be the onset.


  2. I predict that the next AMO shift (to a negative phase) will be around 2025 [though it could be a couple of years earlier than this].

    I showed that between 1870 and 2025, the precise alignments between the lunar synodic [phase] cycle and the 31/62 year Perigean New/Full moon cycle, naturally breaks up into six 31-year epochs each of which has a distinctly different tidal property. Note that the second of these 31-year intervals starts with the precise alignment on the 15th of April 1870, with the subsequent epoch boundaries occurring every 31 years after that:

    Epoch 1 – Prior to 15th April 1870
    Epoch 2 – 15th April 1870 to 18th April 1901
    Epoch 3 – 8th April 1901 to 20th April 1932
    Epoch 4 – 20th April 1932 to 23rd April 1963
    Epoch 5 – 23rd April 1963 to 25th April 1994
    Epoch 6 – 25th April 1994 to 27th April 2025

    Do you think that these lunar tidal epoch boundaries have anything to do with shifts in the AMO?
    [Note that this is a rhetorical question.]

  3. Here are my two cents:

    My prediction is that a moderate to strong El Nino will start sometime around July of 2019. My reasoning for this prediction is given in the blog post below:


    We are currently in Full Moon Epoch 6 which lasts from the 25th of April 1994 to 27th of April 2025.

    I predict that moderate-to-strong El Niño events in the Full Moon epochs preferentially occur near times when the lunar line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the times of the Equinoxes. Note that this is equivalent to saying that moderate to strong El Niño in Full Moon Epochs preferentially occur near times the strongest Perigean New/Full moons are crossing the Earth’s equator.

    In layman’s terms, we just had a supermoon (i.e. full moon close to Perigee – – called a Perigean Full Moon) near the Spring Equinox on March 21st 2019.

    The Full Moon was on March 21st at 1:43 UT
    Perigee was on March 19th at 19:48 UT

  4. oldbrew says:

    Also to consider:
    1) now going through a deeper than usual solar minimum, few sunspots
    2) the Sun near its max. possible distance from the SS barycentre from 2020-2023

    White line = solar ‘orbit’ (starts 1/1/2019 lower centre, ends 30/12/2024), red crosshairs show barycentre, red circle radius = 1 solar diameter.

  5. There is one important caveat to my prediction for the next transition date for the phase change of the AMO.

    Wilson, I.R.G. and Sidorenkov, N.S., 2019, A Luni-Solar Connection to Weather and Climate II: Extreme Perigean New/Full Moons & El Niño Events, The General Science Journal, Jan 2019, 7637.
    (see page 22)


    A more detailed analysis of the transitional spring tidal events in the Perigean Spring New/Full moon cycles shows that they slowly drift into and then out of alignment with the nominal seasonal boundaries. This means that the end of the epoch that starts in 1994.237 (i.e Epoch 6) may not be in 2025.243 (i.e. 31-year later – see table 2) as the spring tidal events would no longer be in close alignment with the seasonal boundaries.

    The most likely outcome is that epoch boundary marked by the strongest spring tidal events that align with the Spring Equinox near 2025.243 (i.e. March 29th 15:15 UT 2025) would move back in time by 4.531 years to a new epoch boundary marked by the strongest spring tidal events that align with the Autumnal Equinox near 2020.712 (i.e. September 17th 17:33 U.T. 2020).

    This would produce a series of 31-year epochs (starting with strong spring tides that are aligned with the Autumnal Equinox) in the years 2020, 2051, 2082, 2113, and 2144 that closely match the
    series of 31-year epochs (starting with strong spring tides that are aligned with the Spring
    Equinox) in the years 1870, 1901, 1932, 1963, and 1994.

    Hence, it is possible that the AMO may undergo a transition in its phase (from positive to negative) as early as 2020.

  6. Ashok Patel says:

    Using NOAA Criteria, a full-fledged El Nino 2018-19 event has already begun at the end of March 2019 since five consecutive overlapping 3-monthly seasons have had ONI of greater than or equal to +0.5ºC. Last five ONI Index are SON 2018 +0.7ºC, OND 2018 +0.9ºC, NDJ 2019 +0.8ºC, DJF 2019 +0.8ºC and JFM 2019 +0.8ºC

  7. Ashok Patel,

    The criterion used to determine if an El Nino event has started varies depending on:

    a) which particular index is used
    b) whether or not you are interested in moderate to strong El Nino or just anything which meets some minimum standard
    c) whether or not you believe a coupling between the atmosphere and the oceans has to be established before a full-blown EL Nino event gets underway.

    The recent warming of the oceans may meet the minimum criteria for the onset of an El Nino event, however, the atmosphere is not playing along, as there is no concerted weakening of the trade winds blowing across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

    My predictions are based upon the Bivariate EnSo Time series (or BEST) index and they only concern moderate to strong El Nino events.

    Ref: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/cathy.smith/best/table33.txt

    This index is currently showing that an El Nino event started in October of 2018. However, due to the way in which this index is defined, this is only a temporary result and it will change in the coming months.

    If you use the criterion that this index must be 1 for at least 3 months – then we may not know when this threshold is met until the end of 2019.