ENSO update: La Niña continues

Posted: August 12, 2022 by oldbrew in atmosphere, ENSO, Forecasting, Ocean dynamics, Temperature, weather

It could still be active into next spring, according to some forecasters. Unusual by its own historical (back to 1950) standards.
– – –
La Niña continues! It’s likely that the La Niña three-peat will happen: the chance that the current La Niña will last through early winter is over 70%, says NOAA’s ENSO blog.

If it happens, this will be only the third time with three La Niña winters in a row in our 73-year record.

ENSO (El Niño/Southern Oscillation, the whole La Niña and El Niño system) has the greatest influence on weather and climate during the Northern Hemisphere cold season, so forecasters pay especially close attention when it looks like ENSO will be active in the winter.

Hopelessly Devoted to You

La Niña is present when the sea surface temperature in the east-central Pacific Ocean is at least 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) cooler than the long-term average, along with evidence of a stronger atmospheric circulation above the equatorial Pacific.

In July, the sea surface temperature in the Niño-3.4 region of the tropical Pacific, our primary monitoring region, was 0.7 °C cooler than average (average = 1991–2020) according to the ERSSTv5 dataset.

This makes 21 of the past 24 months with a deviation from average below -0.5 °C.

Continued here.

  1. Phoenix44 says:

    Does La Nina also affect highs that bring hot air northwards to Europe?

  2. Bloke down the pub says:

    Who else remembers being told by the experts that Climate Change meant we’d be entering a period of perpetual El Niño?

  3. oldbrew says:

    Bloke – yes, something like that…before we had two low solar minima in a row 🤔

  4. oldbrew says:

    Posted on August 7, 2022 by curryja
    The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (II). Solar activity unexplained/ignored effects on climate

    by Javier Vinós & Andy May

    From: 2.4 Effects on El Niño/Southern Oscillation

    The solar-ENSO modulation is uncovered by a simple frequency analysis of ENSO modes. ENSO displays three temporal modes: El Niño (warm mode), La Niña (cool mode), and Neutral. The ENSO system is usually considered to be an oscillation between El Niño and La Niña modes due to their opposing temperatures. This view appears to be incorrect. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center classifies ENSO winter modes (year corresponding to January) according to SST data in the Niño-3.4 region (Domeisen et al. 2019). Using this classification, it is trivial to demonstrate that La Niña years strongly anti-correlate to Neutral years, not El Niño years (Fig. 2.4a) for the 1960–2020 period (1962–2018 shown using a gaussian filter). [bold added]


    That’s their view, anyway. See Fig. 2.4

    The strong anti-correlation between La Niña and Neutral years indicates ENSO has been profoundly misunderstood and even its naming is incorrect, as it should be La Niña/Southern Oscillation.
    . . .
    When the system accumulates excess energy, Los Niños occur to efficiently spread the excess through the rest of the climate system.

    Suggesting the system currently (‘La Niña continues’) has/had a lot of excess energy to disperse.

  5. oldbrew says:

    New paper on the way from Roy Spencer.

    ENSO Impact on the Declining CO2 Sink Rate
    August 9th, 2022 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    SUMMARY: A simple time-dependent CO2 budget model shows that yearly anthropogenic emissions compared to Mauna Loa CO2 measurements gives a declining CO2 sink rate, which if continued would increase atmospheric CO2 concentrations and presumably anthropogenic climate change. But accounting for ENSO (El Nino/La Nina) activity during 1959-2021 removes the decline. This is contrary to multiple previous studies that claimed to account for ENSO. A preprint of my paper (not yet peer reviewed) describing the details is at ENSO Impact on the Declining CO2 Sink Rate | Earth and Space Science Open Archive (essoar.org).


  6. bobweber says:


    When the system accumulates excess energy, Los Niños occur to efficiently spread the excess through the rest of the climate system. – Javier Vinós, Andy May

    This is a gross error, as it is trivial to find there is no overall warming without El Niños, and no overall warming with La Niña, so Javier is doing a bang up job of misinterpreting reality.

    La Niña predictably occur after solar minima due to a cyclic accumulated TSI deficit. The next image snippet is from my 2018 AGU poster about solar irradiance extremes, showing a repeating pattern of alternating equatorial OHC cooling under low cycle TSI and warming from high cycle TSI.

  7. oldbrew says:

    BW – re. ‘no overall warming with La Niña’

    Isn’t the idea that some of the warmth already existing gets moved around the system by La Niña? That would lead to some parts warming, others cooling, but no ‘overall’ warming.

  8. bobweber says:

    OB, from above second image, top panel HadSST3: no net warming during La Niña, only from El Niño.

    There is water moving around during La Niña, but it’s not net warming much of anything elsewhere in the ocean except the poles at that time, which is just previously absorbed El Niño tropical heat being transported poleward with a 12 month lag.

    If Niño3 is below average for some time it will lead to increasing sea ice extent, and vice versa. Arctic ice is actually gaining a little bit now due to the La Niña, and will likely continue to do so until the warming effect of the next El Niño begins, probably 1-3 years from now.

    The major thing that the La Niña can cause is drought from relatively high cloudlessness, which leads to high ground solar radiation, ie higher UV Index, and hotter land temperatures, which we had during 2020-2022 in the US, Europe, and many other places, leading to more wildfires too.

  9. oldbrew says:

    AUGUST 19, 2022
    A third straight La Niña is likely—here’s how you and your family can prepare

    Hearts sank along the Australian east coast this week when the Bureau of Meteorology announced a third consecutive La Niña was likely this year. La Niña weather events typically deliver above-average rainfall in spring and summer.

    But the last two La Niñas mean our catchments are already full. Dams are at capacity, soils are saturated and rivers are high. In some cases, there’s nowhere for the rains to go except over land.


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