La Niña drawing to a close

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:39 PM GMT on February 27, 2012

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La Niña, the cooling of the equatorial Pacific waters off the coast of South America that has dramatically affected our weather for most of the past two years, is almost done. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) over the tropical Eastern Pacific in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", have warmed rapidly over the past two weeks, and were 0.4°C below average on February 27. This is slightly warmer than the -0.5°C threshold to be considered La Niña conditions, and is the first time since early August that La Niña conditions have not been present. It is likely that SSTs will continue to warm during March and April, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is predicting that they will declare an official end to La Niña sometime between March and April. A moderate to strong La Niña began in the summer of 2010, weakened briefly during May - July 2011 to neutral status, then re-intensified to a borderline weak/moderate La Niña from August 2011 - January 2012.


Figure 1. Comparison of the sea surface temperature departure from average from January 4 and February 22, 2012, over the tropical Eastern Pacific. During January, a large region of the ocean was more than 0.5°C cooler than average, meaning a La Niña event was present. Beginning in mid-February, waters warmed rapidly from east to west along the Equator, signaling and end to the La Niña event. Image credit: NOAA.

The forecast: neutral or El Niño conditions by fall
The period March - May is the typical time of year that El Niño or La Niña events end, and it is common for the opposite phenomena to take hold by fall. Since 1950, there have been twelve La Niña events that ended during the first half of the year; during six of those years (50%), an El Niño event formed in time for the August - September - October peak of hurricane season. The official forecast from Columbia University's IRI and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center calls for a 31 - 32% chance of an El Niño event during the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. El Niño conditions tend to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity by creating high levels of wind shear that tends to tear hurricanes apart. Given the relatively high chance of an El Niño event this fall, plus ocean temperatures over the tropical Atlantic that are cooler than we saw in 2011 and 2010, I doubt we'll see an Atlantic hurricane season as active as the ones in 2010 and 2011 (nineteen named storms both years, third busiest seasons on record.) The demise of La Niña also means that global temperatures should begin to approach record warm levels by the end of the year. The cool waters of a La Niña event keep global temperatures cooler than average.


Figure 2. Computer model forecasts of El Niño/La Niña made in mid-February 2012. The forecasts that go above the red line at +0.5°C denote El Niño conditions; -0.5°C to +0.5°C denote neutral conditions, and below -0.5°C denote La Niña conditions. Most of the computer models are predicting neutral or El Niño conditions during the fall peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. Image credit: Columbia University's IRI.

I'll have a new post by Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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301. DocNDswamp

I saw dat just now Doc, as I just came from Audubon Park with the Dog.

Scared me a tad..all dat Blue.
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first bands of snow about to hit Mpls.. local Nexrad indicates the changeover to mix precip is coming in too!!
buggers
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Deluge to drive Sydney's Warragamba dam over the edge



WARRAGAMBA Dam could spill over within days - for the first time in 14 years - as a massive rain band drenches NSW, sending drinking water worth millions of dollars down the dam wall and out to sea.

Sydney's desalination plant will still operate - despite the dam potentially being full for weeks or months - with one of NSW's most experienced water experts calling for the plant to be immediately shut down.

The weather bureau last night said between 100mm and 300mm of rain could soak a vast area of the state over the next three days. It issued a severe weather warning for flash flooding for 11 districts.

"This is perhaps the most significant rainfall event that some of these areas have seen in decades and records may be broken." the bureau's NSW regional director Barry Hanstrum said.

The SES issued a flash flood watch for the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.

"We are advising people to be prepared as there is a 70 per cent chance of moderate flooding," a SES spokesman said.

Weather bureau meteorologist Julie Evans said Warragamba's huge catchment area was set to receive very heavy falls.

"Some towns in far western NSW could get their entire annual rainfall in one day," Ms Evans said.

The Sydney Catchment Authority said Warragamba was 88 per cent full.

"If we get 80mm of rain over two days in Warragamba's 9000sq km catchment area ... then the dam will spill," SCA spokeswoman Karen Smith said.

"It is looking very likely and, with heavy rain predicted for all the rivers and tributaries which supply water to the dam, it could spill over as soon as Friday. The last time it spilled was in August 1998 - and that was just a very small spill."

Ms Kelly said Warragamba was not a flood mitigation dam like Brisbane's Wivenhoe Dam and could not pre-release water ahead of the deluge.

Professor Stuart White from The University of Technology's Institute for Sustainable Futures, one the authors of the state government's Metropolitan Water Plan, yesterday said it was ridiculous Sydney households were paying an estimated $96 extra in water bills because of the desalination plant when "free water" was set to pour over Warragamba's walls.

He said the desalination plant "should be put in moth balls until the next severe drought".

"It can't be switched on and off all the time. It's my understanding re-starting the plant can cost around a million dollars each time," he said.

It is costing Sydney a lot of money and its not needed right now.

"Every megalitre of water from the desal plant costs between $700 and $800. A megalitre from Warragamba would be between $100 and $200. Last week NSW dams increased their levels by between 50,000 and 60,000 megalitres - that's something like $50 million of water in a week."

The former Labor state government's desalination plant deal included a scheme to keep it in operation for two years as a "proving period", whatever the state of Sydney's water supplies.

Last night the state government refused to reveal whether it could shut down the plant in mid-June.

"The government is considering its options within its contractual obligations," a spokesman said.


Current dam levels:

Sydney catchment

Cataract: 97190ml, 100 per cent
Cordeaux: 93640ml, 97.5 per cent
Avon: 146,700ml, 69.8 per cent
Nepean: 67,730ml, 80.6 per cent
Woronora: 71,790ml, 72.9 per cent
Warragamba: 2,027,000ml, 88.1 per cent
Prospect: 33,330ml, 93.2 per cent
Wingecarribee: 24,120ml, 62.5 per cent
Fitzroy Falls: 9950ml, 89.6 per cent
Tallowa: 7500ml, 100 per cent
Blue Mountains: 2890ml, 96.9per cent



Outside Sydney
Toonumbar: 11236ml, 102 per cent
Pindari: 311695ml, 100 per cent
Copeton: 1,341,322ml, 99 per cent
Split Rock: 325960ml, 82 per cent
Keepit: 417693ml, 98 per cent
Chaffey: 62370ml, 101 per cent
Glenbawn: 750715ml, 100 per cent
Glennies Creek: 280878ml, 99 per cent
Lostock: 20329ml, 101 per cent
Burrendong: 988104ml, 83 per cent
Oberon: 28897ml, 64 per cent
Carcoar: 31443ml, 87 per cent
Wyangala: 942601ml, 77 per cent
Cargelligo: 35591ml, 97 per cent
Burrinjunk: 756225ml, 73 per cent
Blowering: 1317828ml, 80 per cent
Hume: 1906023ml, 63 per cent
Dartmouth: 2968762ml, 77 per cent
Brogo: 9084ml, 101 per cent
Lake Cawndilla: 571551ml, 89 per cent
Lake Wetherell/Tandure: 103684ml, 53 per cent
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Quoting Minnemike:
when i ponder similar thoughts.. i feel blessed as though a miracle is my mere existence. it doesn't require thoughts of a creator to find wonder in this world, rather i feel more wonder borne out of the slim chance that what we all know to be, is.
thanks for sharing :)
(edit: this is not my invitation to discuss religion!
i'm just fascinated, amazed, and thankful to simply exist)
Precisely. One of my favorite passages:

"Not only have you been lucky enough to be attached since time immemorial to a favored evolutionary line, but you have also been extremely- make that miraculously- fortunate in your personal ancestry. Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth's mountains and rivers and oceans, everyone of your forbears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from it's life quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result - evetually, astoundingly, and all to briefly- in you.

Bill Bryson
A Short History of Nearly Everything
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Quoting Minnemike:
when i ponder similar thoughts.. i feel blessed as though a miracle is my mere existence. it doesn't require thoughts of a creator to find wonder in this world, rather i feel more wonder borne out of the slim chance that what we all know to be, is.

So true. In fact, the only motive behind that post is to show just how lucky everyone really is to know the world they know. The world seems more amazing when you look at it like that. :P Everything in history is a luck occurrence caused by something in history that was also caused by a luck chance in history. The world is history, that not only repeats itself but also is defined by itself.

You can predict the future by looking back into history, you can predict your future by looking back also. In my opinion, the future is a mirror of the past.
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Quoting skook:



Who knew this was a blog on climate summaries?


This blog is on the climate?!? Never knew, no one told me!
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322. skook
Quoting sunlinepr:
We knew about Greece but what about UK?

S & P declares Greece in default
Posted on February 28, 2012
February 28, 2012 – GREECE - Greece became the first euro-zone member officially to be rated in default, 13 years after the single European currency was adopted to strengthen the European Union.



British Chancellor says the ‘government has run out of money’- pain from austerity cuts are yet to bite

February 27, 2012 – UNITED KINGDOM - In a stark warning ahead of next month’s Budget, the Chancellor said there was little the Coalition could do to stimulate the economy. Mr. Osborne made it clear that due to the parlous state of the public finances the best hope for economic growth was to encourage businesses to flourish and hire more workers. “The British Government has run out of money because all the money was spent in the good years,” the Chancellor said. “....


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9107485/ George-Osborne-UK-has-run-out-of-money.html



Who knew this was a blog on climate summaries?
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Quoting yqt1001:
Before I got distracted by reading about Tamerlane, I decided to make a bunch of percentages. The percentages represent what life is to me, that all life is luck and that kind of pessimism I thrive on. If you view life differently you can, but the percentages are interesting.
(edit: this is not my invitation to talk religion.. PLEASE!
i'm just fascinated to simply be, let's leave it at that)

At birth:

You had a 0.00000000092593% chance of becoming you.

You had a 1.296296296296% chance of being born in a developed country and still being alive today. (this percentage is nearly the same for being born in China)

You had a 0.027777777778% chance of being born in Canada and still being alive today. You had a 0.277777777778% of being born in the US and being alive today.

You had a 6.481481481482% chance of being alive today.

And finally..the percentage that led me to reading about Tamerlane.
You had a 0.210185185185% chance of dying in a large military conflict after the year 1600. This would leave me to assume that around 0.4% of all people have died through war.


when i ponder similar thoughts.. i feel blessed as though a miracle is my mere existence. it doesn't require thoughts of a creator to find wonder in this world, rather i feel more wonder borne out of the slim chance that what we all know to be, is.
thanks for sharing :)
(edit: this is not my invitation to discuss religion!
i'm just fascinated, amazed, and thankful to simply exist)
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Quoting yqt1001:
Before I got distracted by reading about Tamerlane, I decided to make a bunch of percentages. The percentages represent what life is to me, that all life is luck and that kind of pessimism I thrive on. If you view life differently you can, but the percentages are interesting.

At birth:

You had a 0.00000000092593% chance of becoming you.

You had a 1.296296296296% chance of being born in a developed country and still being alive today. (this percentage is nearly the same for being born in China)

You had a 0.027777777778% chance of being born in Canada and still being alive today. You had a 0.277777777778% of being born in the US and being alive today.

You had a 6.481481481482% chance of being alive today.

And finally..the percentage that led me to reading about Tamerlane.
You had a 0.210185185185% chance of dying in a large military conflict after the year 1600. This would leave me to assume that around 0.4% of all people have died through war.




im not lucky, im blessed
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Was wondering when the first downcast for the upcoming hurricane season would happen.Gotta love the people with the whole knowing crystal ball.


A strong El Nino is coming i've been saying this for months now, looks like we'll have slow hurricane season. I've been sayin this for a while now.
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Quoting yqt1001:


I meant, being born in China and living to this day. Realistically, probably about 5%-10% of all people that ever lived were Chinese. Some of the historical famines in China have killed millions before Europe even had a million people on the continent.


Oh okay, I gotcha
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Helicopter shakes itself apart on landing in Brazil.


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Quoting NEwxguy:
Was wondering when the first downcast for the upcoming hurricane season would happen.Gotta love the people with the whole knowing crystal ball.


0 storms, 0 hurricanes, 0 majors
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Was wondering when the first downcast for the upcoming hurricane season would happen.Gotta love the people with the whole knowing crystal ball.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


How can you only have a 1.2% chance of being born in China when about 13% of people live in china?


I meant, being born in China and living to this day, out of the total of 108 billion people that ever existed. Realistically, probably about 5%-10% of all people that ever lived were Chinese. Some of the historical famines in China have killed millions before Europe even had a million people on the continent.
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No, it's not Fukushima this time... blame the unknown

February 27, 2012 – BRITAIN - Thousands of lambs are dying in Britain.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9106270/My stery-virus-kills-thousands-of-lambs.html

DHADING, Nepal – More than 20,000 chickens have died of unidentified disease in Naubise VDC’s Dharke and surrounding areas in the past one week.
http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?hea dline=20%26sbquo%3B000+fowls+die+in+Dharke+&NewsID =320741

MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. — Horses are dying and now cattle as well and detectives in Maury County have been at a loss to explain how or why it is happening.
http://www.newschannel5.com/story/17005844/myster y-grows-as-more-livestock-dies-in-maury-county

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Quoting yqt1001:
Before I got distracted by reading about Tamerlane, I decided to make a bunch of percentages. The percentages represent what life is to me, that all life is luck and that kind of pessimism I thrive on. If you view life differently you can, but the percentages are interesting.

At birth:

You had a 0.00000000092593% chance of becoming you.

You had a 1.296296296296% chance of being born in a developed country and still being alive today. (this percentage is nearly the same for being born in China)

You had a 0.027777777778% chance of being born in Canada and still being alive today. You had a 0.277777777778% of being born in the US and being alive today.

You had a 6.481481481482% chance of being alive today.

And finally..the percentage that led me to reading about Tamerlane.
You had a 0.210185185185% chance of dying in a large military conflict after the year 1600. This would leave me to assume that around 0.4% of all people have died through war.




How can you only have a 1.2% chance of being born in China when about 13% of people live in china?
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Looks like the rainy season is upon us here in C FL! El Nino is coming too folks so be prepared for some wet weather in the south. I've been saying for a while its coming. Looks like im going to be right.
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re: 300. StormTracker2K

True enough ST2K, it could... and along with the May '09 hvy rain over FL, SE LA got flooded by that December in the peak of our last El Nino with nearly every station recording 20-26" worth... wettest on record...

And thanks as well (post 305), thought many would find that an interesting observation!
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Record rains predicted for ACT, southern NSW.

The weather bureau says there is likely to be record-breaking rainfall and more flooding across parts of New South Wales and the ACT over the next few days.

Many south-western parts of NSW and northern Victoria have been deluged by rain and a flood evacuation warning has been issued for Cooma in the Snowy Mountains.

Weather bureau spokesman Rob Webb says the worst is ahead and that decades-old rainfall records could be broken.

The heaviest falls are most likely in a band running between Broken Hill to the south and central coast including Ivanhoe, Forbes, Young, Cowra, Canberra, Goulburn, Wollongong and Sydney.

"We could see broadly rainfall of 100mm to 200mm over the next few days - some spots even above 300mm," Mr Webb said.

He said there could be moderate to major flooding around the ACT, Cooma and Cootamundra regions extending to the Illawarra.

"There is the potential for large flooding, but as we see this rainfall unfold it really depends on where the rainfall falls and how quickly it falls," he said.

"Included in the flood watch is actually the Nepean-Hawkesbury which runs along the western edge of Sydney.

"We do anticipate some heavy rain to develop in the catchment of Warragamba Dam and that may cause some downstream flooding later in the week in Sydney."

In Cooma, an evacuation warning has been issued for people in low-lying properties as the State Emergency Service fears the town's levees will be breached and cause extensive damage.

SES spokesman Michael Eburn says people in the affected areas are being advised to prepare for evacuation.

"Right now residents should be raising belongings, placing them on tables or anywhere up high, get together any medicines, personal financial documents, photos and mementos, and they should be ready to be out of their homes for about three days," he said.

"The bureau is saying there's a 70 per cent chance of major flooding, so that's a serious risk and it's certainly one that we are taking very seriously."

The Cooma-Monaro Council is offering sand bags to residents to help protect their properties - anyone requiring sand bags can collect them from the Polo Flat Road depot.

Goulburn Council also has sand bags available for collection from the Hetherington Street council depot.

Earlier on Tuesday fire crews rescued a couple and their baby who were cut off by floodwaters about 10km west of Broken Hill.

A spokesman said a Hazmat tanker was used to get across a flooded creek and pick up the stranded trio, who were being taken back to Broken Hill.

_________________________________________________ _____________________________________________

IDN38503
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
New South Wales

Significant Weather Media Release
Issued at 3:56 pm EDT on Tuesday 28 February 2012.


Flood threat for southern and central NSW and the ACT

The Bureau of Meteorology warned today that heavy rain and thunderstorms pose a
significant flood threat to large parts of the southern half of NSW inlcuding
the ACT.

The Bureau has issued a Severe Weather Warning and Flood Watch for a large part
of central and southern NSW with heavy rain developing today and increasing on
Wednesday and Thursday. The Nepean-Hawkesbury River which provides a border to
western Sydney is included in the Flood Watch and is likely to flood before the
end of the week.

"A major rainfall event is unfolding and we expect flooding to develop in the
coming days," the Bureau's New South Wales Regional Director Mr Barry Hanstrum
said today.

"The heaviest falls are most likely in a band running between Broken Hill to
the south and central coast including Ivanhoe, Forbes, Young, Cowra, Canberra,
Goulburn, Wollongong and Sydney. Some locations could receive falls in excess
of 300mm over the next several days," Mr Hanstrum said.

"This event is perhaps the most significant rainfall event that some of these
areas have seen in decades and records may be broken.
I urge people to keep a
close eye on the latest warnings issued by the Bureau," he added.

New South Wales State Emergency Service Commissioner Mr Murray Kear has urged
people in areas affected to prepare now. "People living and working along
rivers and streams in the areas affected by the Flood Watch and warnings should
prepare now. If you live in rural areas lift pumps and relocate livestock and
equipment to higher ground. If isolation is likely stock up now on food, fuel,
medicine and other essential items."

"In urban areas if you are in a flood prone location activate your flood plan
and prepare your property and family. It is particularly important that once
heavy rain begins to fall you and your family stay well clear of floodwater".
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I can tell you who will have an active hurricane season and that's the E-PAC. Looks as if Mexico is really gonna get it this year.
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We knew about Greece but what about UK?

S & P declares Greece in default
Posted on February 28, 2012
February 28, 2012 – GREECE - Greece became the first euro-zone member officially to be rated in default, 13 years after the single European currency was adopted to strengthen the European Union.



British Chancellor says the ‘government has run out of money’- pain from austerity cuts are yet to bite

February 27, 2012 – UNITED KINGDOM - In a stark warning ahead of next month’s Budget, the Chancellor said there was little the Coalition could do to stimulate the economy. Mr. Osborne made it clear that due to the parlous state of the public finances the best hope for economic growth was to encourage businesses to flourish and hire more workers. “The British Government has run out of money because all the money was spent in the good years,” the Chancellor said. “....


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9107485/ George-Osborne-UK-has-run-out-of-money.html
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Quoting DocNDswamp:
Good day all,
Okay, running a day late, but...

Thanks for the ENSO overview and update Dr Jeff!
Indeed, the E Pac certainly has warmed rapidly in short period particularly in Nino 1+2 / 3 regions and expanding WWD... LOL, viewing the CPC's animation (currently Dec 07-Feb 22) of the warming SST progression appears at a glance someone left the Panama Canal locks wide open (except the warm bulge appears closer to Costa Rica)... ;)

An observation on a related note -
As those SST's warmed remarkably, also noticed in response more abundant moisture / convection built over (and above) that part E PAC region... Some of that mid-up level moisture entrained into the S Cen / E US as, coinciding with the repetitious Baja low / subtropical jet pattern recently, the strong deep-layered ULL storm system that dug down over Baja / MX around Feb 16th onward actually tapped into that pooling EPAC tropical moisture - reminiscent of "El Nino / Pineapple Express" type events - delivering the heavy deluge over TX-LA / N Gulf on Feb 17-18th... Can see the interaction in this NRL Monterey water vapor image (845Z / 18th) of the long moisture plume, drawn by the upper trof / subtropical jet and subsequently flowing around what has been a dominant mid-upper Caribbean ridge for much of this warm Winter (blue = dry subsident air mass)...


(image courtesy Image Shack, NRL Monterey)

Also SFSU Jet Stream Analysis showing the set-up by 12Z Feb 17 2012 and the 18th... Perhaps better illustrated with this archived GFS 300 mb synoptic wind analysis...


(image courtesy Image Shack, NOMADS.NCEP.NOAA)

Locally, this event resulted in the heaviest rainfall for most parts of Louisiana (esp SE LA) since STS Lee in September, with widespread 2-4" plus amts reported... Different circumstances, but appears my first (and only) "over 2 inch" rainfall since Lee (2.82") had a deep tropical connection.



Great Post!
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Before I got distracted by reading about Tamerlane, I decided to make a bunch of percentages. The percentages represent what life is to me, that all life is luck and that kind of pessimism I thrive on. If you view life differently you can, but the percentages are interesting.

At birth:

You had a 0.00000000092593% chance of becoming you.

You had a 1.296296296296% chance of being born in a developed country and still being alive today. (this percentage is nearly the same for being born in China)

You had a 0.027777777778% chance of being born in Canada and still being alive today. You had a 0.277777777778% of being born in the US and being alive today.

You had a 6.481481481482% chance of being alive today.

And finally..the percentage that led me to reading about Tamerlane.
You had a 0.210185185185% chance of dying in a large military conflict after the year 1600. This would leave me to assume that around 0.4% of all people have died through war.


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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Maybe not so fast on having what you describe as the SOI pushes back a little bit with the index turning positive.It may be a brief spike,but every day that passes with La Nina mantaining respiratory life,it is more hard to have a moderate to strong El Nino by the Summer and Fall.

Link


Well see because the SST's across the equatorial Pacific have really increased over the last 30 days. Only model that showed us going into a El-Nino was the Euro with all other models staying neutral now they are trending toward the Euro.

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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Neutral Conditions are almost here now. I've saying for awhile now that it appears we are heading for a Strong El-Nino come late next Fall.

ENSO=CPC 2/27/12=Nino 3.4 up to -0.4C / Nino 3 up to 0.2C



Maybe not so fast on having what you describe as the SOI pushes back a little bit with the index turning positive.It may be a brief spike,but every day that passes with La Nina mantaining respiratory life,it is more hard to have a moderate to strong El Nino by the Summer and Fall.

Link
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Yo Patrap,

Thought I better warn you - just saw an amazing, almost unprecedented phenomena... Dere's real bonafide SUNSHINE poking thru ocassionally as the dreary solid overcast skies are finally breaking, lifting out... somewhat!

Hey, I'll take the above-avg warmth in exchange for a lil sun after the days on end of overcast / nuisance drizzle and dense fog we've had... Not all that cold with past system but dampness kept a chill feel - LOL, my home thermo temp range yesterday ran a bit narrow, 59.2-61.5F...

Out for lunch,
G'day!
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This rapid change in the SST temps across the equatorial Pacific is good news for people TX to FL as this would mean a potentially stormy April & May across the South. Anybody in FL remember May 2009?

Record Rain Wreaks Havoc On Region (5/20/2009)

HOLLY HILL, Fla. 5/20/2009 -- Record amounts of rain continued to fall on Central Florida throughout Wednesday.

Volusia County has seen more than 14 inches of rain, causing flooding in many areas.

Volusia County flooding


Residents in Holly Hill woke up Wednesday to standing water in the streets. The rain even crept up toward the doors of their homes and businesses.

"The water damage is just going to ruin everything. I mean, our beds are on the ground. We don't have any frames so what do we do?" resident Rianne McCarter said.

It's not just small side roads that are flooded, major arteries in Volusia County like U.S. 1 have several inches of water standing on them, leaving motorists stranded.

There were more than 30 streets closed in Daytona Beach Wednesday night. Neighborhoods east of Nova Road were under water, making it nearly impossible for residents to get in and out of their homes.

"The rain came coming and then the trucks kept coming, and it became more and more," said Daytona Beach resident Katie Thigpen. "The more I pull out, within 15 minutes I had more, to the point it's up to here."

The American Red Cross opened up a shelter at Westside Baptist Church on Mason Avenue for anyone who needs a place to sleep, eat or stay dry.

"We have plenty of room here," said volunteer Fran Czajkowski. "This is a great location for a shelter, lots of room, lots of privacy."

Since Sunday, Daytona Beach has gotten more than 14 inches of rain -- that's double the amount of rainfall the city had during Tropical Storm Fay. Police are urging residents to avoid roads with flooding signage.

An apartment caught fire in downtown Orlando after being struck by lightning from Wednesday night's storms.

Read more: http://www.wesh.com/weather/19519173/detail.html#i xzz1nhdnigZX

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I was reading about Tamerlane, the guy that tried to recreate the Mongol empire in the 1400s. He was close but died a bit too soon. Anyway, I read probably the most ironic thing ever.

"Timurlane's body was exhumed from his tomb in 1941 by the Soviet anthropologist Mikhail M. Gerasimov. It is alleged that Timur's tomb was inscribed with the words, "When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble." It is also said that when Gerasimov exhumed the body, an additional inscription inside the casket was found reading, "Who ever opens my tomb, shall unleash an invader more terrible than I." In any case, two days after Gerasimov had begun the exhumation, Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, its invasion of the U.S.S.R. Timur was re-buried with full Islamic ritual in November 1942 just before the Soviet victory at the Battle of Stalingrad."

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Quoting TXMegaWatt:


Doing something about global warming (if it really even exists) is an effort that must start with lessening the demand for such commodities. It starts with the individual. Don’t go after energy companies demanding they stop emitting greenhouse gases by burning oil, coal, or natural gas. Trust me, as long as there is a demand for it, they will keep doing what they do. Money is the root of all evil. By taking out the demand, you lessen their desire to make abundant wealth from it. However, reducing demand for electricity might be the hardest thing we as humans would ever face.

On the other hand, you have millions of people across the globe that make their living off of energy production facilities like coal and natural gas burning plants. Taking out very affordable energy like coal will only make your electricity prices go up and cause many, many people to lose their way of life. I think our economy is already in the tanker, don't ya think? The taxes these facilities pay to the local communities is astronomical. Try telling a poor rural community with no jobs available that they shouldn’t build a 2000MW coal plant in their community. Try convincing them that they don’t need the abundance of new jobs or the tax money paid for schools, government buildings, etc. There would be some chuckles, no doubt. Building new, renewable energy production sites is a good idea, but trust me, we have a long way to go to be able to meet the skyrocketing demand for power. Try supporting a large and demanding electric grid like Texas (ERCOT) with wind and water. I'm afraid it would be a disaster to say the least. Bottom line, we're just not there yet. The solution is to keep working on ways to make more power from less resources and have it sustainable. Making a gradual switch to newer, more efficient technology is what our culture does. By simply saying, stop doing this and start doing that is a joke. It would be an inevitable epic fail.


The Earth is warming. Our climate is changing. Humans are doing multiple things which are causing this change, burning fossil fuels is a major input.

This is settled science, there's no question left to ponder.

Getting off coal. Coal is a very expensive way to generate electricity, but many people don't realize that. It's cheap to burn coal for electricity, but the stuff that comes out of the smokestack causes a lot of expensive health problems and environmental damage. We pay three times for coal-electricity - at the meter, with our health insurance premiums and with our tax dollars.

Wind is a very inexpensive way to produce electricity. Geothermal is a moderate cost method. Solar is already cheaper than coal (if you count all the costs) and solar is rapidly getting cheaper. Tidal will likely become cheaper than coal. Hydro is cheaper than coal. We are making major progress with storage, wind/solar plus storage will soon be cheaper than coal.

Yes, coal provides jobs. Many of them dangerous, health-damaging jobs. Renewable energy will provide even more jobs. Safer jobs.

Even the places that might be hurt by dropping coal out of our energy mix can profit from renewables. We've recently discovered that West Virginia has massive geothermal potential. WV can sell clean electricity to the Eastern Seaboard rather than dirty coal. The Western coal states have great wind potential and we're now running transmission lines to those areas in order to move electricity to the West Coast.

ERCOT is doing quite well with lots of wind on its grid. Wind is making power cheaper. ERCOT is now adding lots of solar and starting on offshore wind to provide more clean, renewable power for their peak hour needs.

We are in the transition away from fossil fuels. It's a done deal. The question is whether we transition rapidly in order to minimize climate change, save money and improve our health or whether we transition slow in order for a few fossil fuel industry owners to further enrich themselves.



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Neutral Conditions are almost here now. I've saying for awhile now that it appears we are heading for a Strong El-Nino come late next Fall.

ENSO=CPC 2/27/12=Nino 3.4 up to -0.4C / Nino 3 up to +0.2C

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nice swath of snow coming at Mpls... but i see mixed precip to the west, so with changing temps and those upper level winds from the south strengthening, could definitely get messy here!!
i'll take anything other than ice accumulations.
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Quoting yqt1001:


That's nice, we might get a few more inches of snow ontop of the 10 inches we got on Sunday.

Winter came very late!
Yes, the lack of snow up there has been particular worrisome for potential drought developments this summer in the Upper Plains and Upper Mississippi Valley this season. This storm has the chance to lay down a solid foot over a very wide area.  It will definitely help.  Just hope the folks up there are ready.  Looks like a good couple of days of a good book and warm fire while watching the snow a come down seems to be in the offering. :) At least that's just me, but winter did not come down here for me this season.  grr. 
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Quoting SPLbeater:


i really hope we dont have another 09...my first tracking season, and i got 9 storms. :(

What type of ENSO year do you think we will have or do you think it's a guessing game at the moment?
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Quoting ILwthrfan:
GFS trending yetagainfurther north...





NAM doing same as well...



That's nice, we might get a few more inches of snow ontop of the 10 inches we got on Sunday.

Winter came very late!
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Quoting SPLbeater:


im doin alright! and you?

I'm good
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GFS trending yet again further north...





NAM doing same as well...

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Wearing shorts today for the first time in 2012.. love it! 69 degrees and partly cloudy hear in good ol' mid TN. Clouds are slowly taking over the sky as we wait for tonight and tomorrow's anticipated T-Storms. I'm sure we'll have a few more cold days ahead but it sure is pleasant today! Think I'll go have me a glass of Cheerwine
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Quoting Minnemike:
too bad there aren't more midwesterners here... this system is the talk of the town round here!


I'm here. Keeping a close eye on the path of the low pressure. Latest expectations are for snow to begin along the south shore of Lake Superior after midnight. Totals could range between 10 and 15 inches with some blowing and drifting. Higher snow totals and winds expected back in central Minnesota.

I've already had 36" of snow this winter with a couple inches remaining on the ground. Last year I had 58" total, which is pretty average for my location. So I could use a little more snow before April.

Light snow started this morning, which was not really in the forecast. Warm air advection seems to have triggered the snow and produced a inch of snow so far. It might a sign of what's to come!

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I can see both sides of that argument. I don't agree with a lot of what TXMegawatt said in his post, but he's right that it does start with the individual- as long as there's a demand for a commodity, then the impetus for the profiteers to supply it will remain, if we want to see change, then as Gandhi said you must BE the change you would like to see in the world. If one is making their own solar panels, then they're walking the walk as well, so someone like that is the perfect type of spokesperson needed for the sustainability movement to be respected. Talking about something and actually being about it are 2 different things, talk is cheap-I do think it is important for those that believe strongly in the cause to practice what they preach if they want to be taken seriously, prominent figures do more a disservice to the cause if they have $30,000/yr. personal utility bills, that's like having having Newt Gingrich sponsor the so-called "defense of marriage act". I would hold someone in higher regard that calls themselves a skeptic-but personally lives a relatively sustainable lifestyle than a person that likes to talk the talk but refuses to walk the walk.
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Here's another one for you:-
I remember when they used to pull trains with steam engines!
Even the Chinese don't do that anymore!
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2012...unknown
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Noting:-268. Skyepony
Thank you for that extravaganza of clarification of what is and can be done.
Well, Skeptics and their scepticism have always been an easy target on both sides of any argument about the fabric of reality.
I am of the opinion that the realistic maximum life of any model of a commercial power station would be around 50 years max. Now I know somebody will list ones that have been going for a 100 years but keeping anomalies out of the equation this time round, lets look at replacement.
If more ecologically friendly power generators were to be built as of about now, then in say 10 years plus construction time 20% of the worlds power would come from them, this can be continued into the future until after 50 years all power would come from "Green Power Stations." Be they solar, wind, waves, geothermal etc.
This seems like a long time for some of the bloggers on here but others would now be saying,if construction had started 60 years ago."I can remember when they used to burn coal to produce electricity!
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2011...la nina/neutral year
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Quoting nigel20:
Good afternoon guys...how are you?


im doin alright! and you?
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2010...la nina year
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Good day all,
Okay, running a day late, but...

Thanks for the ENSO overview and update Dr Jeff!
Indeed, the E Pac certainly has warmed rapidly in short period particularly in Nino 1+2 / 3 regions and expanding WWD... LOL, viewing the CPC's animation (currently Dec 07-Feb 22) of the warming SST progression appears at a glance someone left the Panama Canal locks wide open (except the warm bulge appears closer to Costa Rica)... ;)

An observation on a related note -
As those SST's warmed remarkably, also noticed in response more abundant moisture / convection built over (and above) that part E PAC region... Some of that mid-up level moisture entrained into the S Cen / E US as, coinciding with the repetitious Baja low / subtropical jet pattern recently, the strong deep-layered ULL storm system that dug down over Baja / MX around Feb 16th onward actually tapped into that pooling EPAC tropical moisture - reminiscent of "El Nino / Pineapple Express" type events - delivering the heavy deluge over TX-LA / N Gulf on Feb 17-18th... Can see the interaction in this NRL Monterey water vapor image (845Z / 18th) of the long moisture plume, drawn by the upper trof / subtropical jet and subsequently flowing around what has been a dominant mid-upper Caribbean ridge for much of this warm Winter (blue = dry subsident air mass)...


(image courtesy Image Shack, NRL Monterey)

Also SFSU Jet Stream Analysis showing the set-up by 12Z Feb 17 2012 and the 18th... Perhaps better illustrated with this archived GFS 300 mb synoptic wind analysis...


(image courtesy Image Shack, NOMADS.NCEP.NOAA)

Locally, this event resulted in the heaviest rainfall for most parts of Louisiana (esp SE LA) since STS Lee in September, with widespread 2-4" plus amts reported... Different circumstances, but appears my first (and only) "over 2 inch" rainfall since Lee (2.82") had a deep tropical connection.

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2009...el nino year
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Quoting ILwthrfan:
I'm a watch'n it Mike.  Seems like the models have been trending it further and further north.  So much as to Minneapolis may even be all rain for a significant portion of the storm.  They were saying 6-12 with 14 yesterday but all that has shifted 100 miles or so further north.  Minneapolis now just expecting a mess of everything 3-6 inches at best and that is looking grim with a temp already at 31.  Although there is a massive batch of precipitation just off to the southwest of Minneapolis and it is building in intensity, it still looks like Central and Northern Minnesota is going to get the brunt of the winter weather from this one.  
yuck ice under the snow
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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