El Niño Odds Raised to 70% by NOAA, But El Niño is Actually Imminent

By: Michael Ventrice , 2:36 PM GMT on June 07, 2014

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Today's guest blog post is by Dr. Michael Ventrice, an operational scientist for the Energy team at Weather Services International (WSI). This is a follow-up post to the ones he did on February 21 and April 4 on the progress of El Niño. Today's post is quite technical! - Jeff Masters

The June 5, 2014 El Niño update from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center gives a 70% chance that El Niño will form this summer, and an 80% by fall, but El Niño odds are higher than this. A strong Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) event is forecast to develop over the central-eastern Pacific later this month in through early July (the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a pattern of increased thunderstorm activity near the Equator that moves around the globe in 30 - 60 days.) This MJO location favors for another period of westerly wind bursts over the Central Pacific, an atmospheric signature that is likely to be the final kick needed for a blossoming El Niño event.

As I blogged about on February 21, there has been a noticeable warming in the eastern Pacific over the past few months in response to one of the most impressive downwelling oceanic Kelvin waves observed since satellite measurements began in the late 1970s. Recall that we observed a series of strong westerly wind bursts over the western-central Pacific Ocean this past winter. These westerly wind bursts can be tied to the state of the MJO as well as other equatorial waves and tropical cyclones.


Figure 1. A time-longitude plot of the departure from average of the depth of the 20°C isotherm shows the impressive nature of this downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave at the end of May, which had finally completed its trip all the way to the eastern Pacific Ocean. The series of these waves like has been observed in 2013 - 2014 is very typical of what one sees before the onset of an El Niño event. Note that since the downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave has emerged at the surface in recent weeks, we have seen a rise in the standard ENSO 3.4 index to anomalies approaching +0.5°C, which is the threshold for classification of El Niño conditions. Image credit: NOAA/CPC.


Figure 2. In our history, we have observed strong oceanic Kelvin waves to be driven by westerly wind bursts, which are often timed with the state of the MJO. Note in this time-longitude plot made during the onset of the 1997 super-El Niño, the shading is anomalous outgoing long wave radiation (OLR; thunderstorms are represented by blue shading), the convectively active phase of the MJO (coincides with low-level westerly winds) are represented by solid-red contours, and downwelling Oceanic Kelvin waves are indicated by the blue-solid contours. It is evident that consecutive MJO events play a critical role in facilitating a basin wide transition to El Niño. Note here time is going up!! Figure courtesy of Dr. Paul Roundy, SUNY Albany.



Figure 3. Departure of ocean temperature from average along the Equator in the Pacific Ocean on May 28, 2014 (top), shows an area of 5°C (8°F) ocean temperature anomalies at a depth of 50 - 150 meters, the signature of an oceanic Kelvin wave. In addition, warmer than average sea-surface temperatures extend along the Equator from South America all the way to the Date Line. This is a classic “Full-basin” El Niño expression. A time lapse is available here. Image credit: NOAA/CPC.

There is potential for a big MJO event this month
Over the past month, the MJO signature was relatively weak. During the latter half of May, we observed a period of enhanced trade flow (easterlies) over the eastern half of the Pacific Basin, which can often counter, or “stall” the El Niño for a period of time due to favoring a period of upwelling in the eastern part of the Basin. But while the atmosphere favored a weakening of the El Niño expression, the ocean did not a skip a beat. Warm ocean currents continue to rip towards the east, advecting warm waters from the western half of the basin to the east. The Pacific Warm Pool, which was well established in the western half of the basin for the past couple of years, has now shifted past the Date Line. You can watch the remarkable evolution of the eastward shifting Warm Pool on the Climate Prediction Center (CPC)’s link here.

Since the ocean remains in a state that is evolving towards El Niño, all we need is the atmosphere to behave…and it does appear that the atmosphere soon will! For the past five to six European weekly forecasts, the model has been becoming more and more aggressive with a developing MJO signature to push across the central-eastern Pacific later in June through early July. In response, we should expect another period of westerly wind bursts over the western-central part of the Basin. And what do you know, the model is keying on a period of anomalous lower-tropospheric flow that very well may be the final kick needed to facilitate a moderate-to-strong El Niño expression later this Fall. Forecast models continue to show the peak of the El Niño will occur later this Fall, with a magnitude near +1.5°C above average, as defined by the ENSO 3.4 Index. Now this is not a “Super El Niño” by any means, but it is very strong and there is still uncertainty regarding how strong it will get.


Figure 4. Weekly European model forecast of the MJO made over the past month have increasingly shown a strong MJO episode developing in late June and early July.

Regardless of what amplitude the ENSO 3.4 Index achieves, it only matters of the atmosphere responds. There are number of ways to identify the expression of El Niño in atmospheric data fields. One popular way is to look is to look at the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), the difference in surface pressure between Darwin, Australia and the island of Tahiti. The SOI tends to drop to very low values during the presence of an El Niño atmosphere. This can be illustrated in the time-series below, where 1997 and 1982 marked the lowest points in the index over the past 35 years.


Figure 5. Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) from 1982 - 2014 shows the two strongest El Niño events of the past 35 years, in 1982 and 1997, had strongly negative SOIs.


Figure 6. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) for the past two years shows a downward trend in recent months, but has yet to cross into the sustained negative territory that will indicate the atmosphere has responded to warming SSTs in the equatorial Pacific.

My thoughts on this summer: Since the atmosphere has NOT yet locked into an “El Niño state”, we might expect the typical cooler-than-average summer conditions that the eastern 2/3 of the U.S. typically experiences during an El Niño event to be delayed. This means we can expect periods of hot weather across the major natural gas and power markets this summer. We do not believe these heat waves will be prolonged in nature, and it is difficult to pin-point the timing and magnitude of such events. But we can expect them to continue until the atmosphere “feels” the El Niño developing beneath in the ocean. With a possible strong MJO event on the horizon, it does suggest however that the atmosphere could lock into an El Niño state sometime between July and August.

Michael Ventrice

Dr. Michael Ventrice is an operational scientist for the Energy team at Weather Services International (WSI), who provide market-moving weather forecasts and cutting-edge meteorological analysis to hundreds of energy-trading clients worldwide. Follow the WSI Energy Team on Twitter at @WSI_Energy and @WSI_EuroEnergy.

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875. DogtownMex
2:45 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 826. weathermanwannabe:

Good Morning.  The pending storm in the E-Pac consolidated overnight and is looking better this morning in terms of development.  It looked like this on Friday, elongated over the weekend, and has consolidated over the past 18 hours with convection firing more uniformly near the center of the low.  Might have a tropical depression within the next 48 hours per the latest NHC discussion:

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/epac/rb-l.jpg



Got 1.5" of rain last night from the outer fringes of this here in P. Escondido. Sea surface is glassy with a Southwest ground swell of 1.5 - 2 mtrs which was a change from yesterday's nasty wind chop from the southeast. Storm must be consolidating its winds towards the center. Looks like the coast of SW Mex is going to get some weather from this thing after all before it moves out.
Member Since: May 23, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 49
874. Patrap
2:27 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Keeper, wu mail
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129805
873. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
2:26 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
872. JRRP
2:22 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6213
871. Dakster
2:19 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 870. ricderr:

Hazy shade of summer this morning. Rain really kept the everglades fire smoke down low. Causing road closures, delays at the port. Not to mention it was hard to breathe this morning...


are they burning cane or is it an uncontrolled fire?


Brush fire started by lightning in broward. 5% contained the last time I checked. 2500 burned.

On edit: reopened US27 but they caution it could close again...
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10765
870. ricderr
2:12 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Hazy shade of summer this morning. Rain really kept the everglades fire smoke down low. Causing road closures, delays at the port. Not to mention it was hard to breathe this morning...


are they burning cane or is it an uncontrolled fire?
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 676 Comments: 22346
869. AlwaysThinkin
2:12 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 850. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



because then he would have no one to talk about

I will fix it for good soon and I don't mean for two or three days I mean like forever


Is Wunderground at some point considering IP bans for the more 'pernicious' trolls under multiple pseudonyms that keep popping up in this forum and Dr. Roods?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
868. ricderr
2:09 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Thanks Ric, we are on our way to an El Nino most likely now. How strong it gets is still up in the air.

my suggestions....trust the experts
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 676 Comments: 22346
867. Dakster
2:08 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Hazy shade of summer this morning. Rain really kept the everglades fire smoke down low. Causing road closures, delays at the port. Not to mention it was hard to breathe this morning...

Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10765
866. hydrus
2:08 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22589
865. ricderr
2:07 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
earth winds

you can go to the link above and see that the tradewinds ion the western pacific have just about turned and now seem about to blow west....and although in the central to western pacific they are still blowing to the west...they are not near as strong as they were this time last week...maybe the mjo pulse doc has talked about above is trying to come into play
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 676 Comments: 22346
864. Llamaluvr
2:07 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 859. Tazmanian:



Reported. I don't live in UT
I wasn't interested in where you live. I just wanted to know about the weather in Utah.
Member Since: July 8, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
863. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:05 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 859. Tazmanian:



Reported. I don't live in UT
be nice taz

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55989
862. hurricanes2018
2:04 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM PDT MON JUN 9 2014

For the eastern North Pacific...east of 140 degrees west longitude:

A low pressure system located about 150 miles south-southwest of
Zihuatanejo, Mexico, is showing signs of organization this morning.
Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for gradual
development, and this system will likely become a tropical
depression during the next day or two while it moves generally
west-northwestward at 5 to 10 mph.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...60 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.

$$
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 110 Comments: 105690
861. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:03 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 854. LongIslandBeaches:



Drama aside, as a novice in this arena I learn a lot from the material that each of them put out. I hope it does not come to a lifetime ban.
I hope so as well they just got to move along from it and not use it to disturb the site with it
its simple I prefer if they stay
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55989
859. Tazmanian
2:02 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 855. Llamaluvr:

Good morning Taz! You're up early. How's the weather in Utah this morning?


Reported. I don't live in UT
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
858. ricderr
2:01 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
weekly enso update can be found here
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 676 Comments: 22346
857. ricderr
2:00 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
well...cpc enso weekly update.....not much has changed...they did give the running temp anomaly from march through may.....i/e oni value..... -0.20 .....this weeks 3.4 anomaly value is once again at 0.5....at this rate it seems pretty much impossible for el nino to be declared before august.....

what i find interesting is last winter...before we came into the spring barrier time frame...models had august about a 40 percent chance and september we finally were above 50 percent in our chances for el nino to be claimed.....looks like those long range models might be right
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 676 Comments: 22346
855. Llamaluvr
1:49 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 852. Tazmanian:




I like the sould of that
Good morning Taz! You're up early. How's the weather in Utah this morning?
Member Since: July 8, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
854. LongIslandBeaches
1:41 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 850. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



because then he would have no one to talk about

I will fix it for good soon and I don't mean for two or three days I mean like forever


Drama aside, as a novice in this arena I learn a lot from the material that each of them put out. I hope it does not come to a lifetime ban.
Member Since: May 2, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 100
853. MahFL
1:37 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 844. Sfloridacat5:

Massive line of storms will setup this afternoon...

The massive line already exits.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3836
852. Tazmanian
1:33 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 850. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



because then he would have no one to talk about

I will fix it for good soon and I don't mean for two or three days I mean like forever



I like the sould of that
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
850. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:26 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 842. Tazmanian:




Why not put Scott on the ignore list am for one getting sick of on the drama you guys do ever day on the blog I find it odd the the mods are even alloweing this drama give it a freaking rest all ready am sure a lot of other blogger are getting sick of the drama has well


because then he would have no one to talk about

I will fix it for good soon and I don't mean for two or three days I mean like forever
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55989
849. Sfloridacat5
1:22 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
The GFS is a very good model, but it definitely has major issues with storm genesis at several days out during the early season (as we've witnessed for the past 3-4 weeks).

But once a low has formed, the GFS has a very good track record.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9243
848. rmbjoe1954
1:05 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 833. StormWx:


Sorry, i'm married. Why dont you keep it weather related, at least i do. I simply pointed out his forecast didnt pan out, as usual.


I thought the GFS was supposed to show improvement on tropical system predictions.
Member Since: June 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1439
847. nrtiwlnvragn
1:04 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Pretty big change in Atlantic SST Anomalies in one week:

This Week





Last Week

Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11341
845. washingtonian115
12:46 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
The GFS can go to hell.It's been on the train of B.S now with stops at clownsville,downrightwrong,and un-dependable for the past month.I'm not believing anything that model says until we're three days out.It's been showing that same storm now in what seems forever.

Anyway I woke up to a inch of rain in my gauge and muggy conditions.More rain/thunderstorms expected today.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17802
844. Sfloridacat5
12:39 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Massive line of storms will setup this afternoon.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9243
843. SouthTampa
12:34 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 840. LargoFl:

well not wrong so much, we must remember it says what the current data being fed into it..but the weather changes constantly and the data being fed into it what evey 7-8 hours has to change also...which is why we really pay attention to the models 2-3 days out..after that its just data and no storm present....somehow the data is telling it..something WILL form,just when keeps getting pushed back...for me, i just dont like the constant hook into florida it presents..yeah sometimes it goes to LA/Texas but most runs put into florida...we'll see what happens...it is june...and June is trouble time for florida with these storms.

I don't know. I think that if/when one of these models gets something correct after 120 hours, it will be more of a blind squirrel finding a nut situation than actual science. These things are as bad as the Accuweather 30-day forecasts and should be labeled "For Entertainment Purposes Only".
Member Since: June 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 146
842. Tazmanian
12:33 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting StormWx:


Sorry, i'm married. Why dont you keep it weather related, at least i do. I simply pointed out his forecast didnt pan out, as usual.



Why not put Scott on the ignore list am for one getting sick of on the drama you guys do ever day on the blog I find it odd the the mods are even alloweing this drama give it a freaking rest all ready am sure a lot of other blogger are getting sick of the drama has well
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
841. Sfloridacat5
12:31 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
I'm not sure how well this will show up, but several areas received 2-3" of rain yesterday across Southeast, central and Southcentral Fl.
Coastal area of the Westcoast missed out.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9243
840. LargoFl
12:28 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 822. StormWx:



Hey Largo! It seems the GFS has been wrong on every run so far this year. Hopefully that model will get better since it hasnt verified anything yet, and it creates ghost storms that never come to life. I think we will see a system in June though but who knows where it will form or go yet. FL is obviously always an option lol.
well not wrong so much, we must remember it says what the current data being fed into it..but the weather changes constantly and the data being fed into it what evey 7-8 hours has to change also...which is why we really pay attention to the models 2-3 days out..after that its just data and no storm present....somehow the data is telling it..something WILL form,just when keeps getting pushed back...for me, i just dont like the constant hook into florida it presents..yeah sometimes it goes to LA/Texas but most runs put into florida...we'll see what happens...it is june...and June is trouble time for florida with these storms.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42063
839. hydrus
12:26 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22589
837. hydrus
12:23 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22589
836. beell
12:17 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920
835. ColoradoBob1
12:17 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Letter from Serbia: we are drowning in a flood of censorship

Serbia has been battered by two storms: first there were mass floods; then a wave of terrifying Internet censorship, which has included denial-of-service attacks, arrests over Facebook discussions of the flood casualties, and ISPs mysteriously shuttering websites critical of the government. We’re proud to present an open letter from BlogOpen-BlogClosed, announcing a netcast strategy conference on Tuesday, June 10 at 1PM CET.

Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3154
831. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
12:11 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
11:30 AM IST June 9 2014
============================

A Low Pressure Area lies over east central and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea. It would concentrate into a depression over the same region during the next 24 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Formation Potential
================================

There is a moderate chance of a depression to form in the Arabian Sea in the next 24 hours
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46908
829. Naga5000
12:07 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 821. StormWx:

From last week for this past weekend:


Well, that sure didnt pan out lol. So much for that! Unfortunately putting too much faith in the GFS is bad news if you are trying to predict the future. Here have some crow :o)

Pretty average week this week for CFL though, 91 with a chance of rain every day. The humidity is killer this time of year.




Why don't you just ask Scott out already? The worst he could say is "No".
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3963
828. weathermanwannabe
12:05 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Finally, here is the current CIMSS chart for the E-Pac.  Looks like 94E has developed an anti-cyclone in the upper environment with low sheer; there should be no impediment to depression status as early as later this evening or sometime tomorrow at this rate:


Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9402
827. weathermanwannabe
11:57 AM GMT on June 09, 2014
Here is the current water vapor shot for 94E.  Dry air to the west was a potential issue but it is consolidating within a very nice moisture pouch.  Dry air should not be an issue in the short term if sheer continues to drop:

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/94E/imagery/wv0-lalo.gif
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9402
826. weathermanwannabe
11:53 AM GMT on June 09, 2014
Good Morning.  The pending storm in the E-Pac consolidated overnight and is looking better this morning in terms of development.  It looked like this on Friday, elongated over the weekend, and has consolidated over the past 18 hours with convection firing more uniformly near the center of the low.  Might have a tropical depression within the next 48 hours per the latest NHC discussion:

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/epac/rb-l.jpg
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9402
825. beell
11:49 AM GMT on June 09, 2014

06/09 00Z 8-10 Day 500 mb mean

GFS continues with an area of lower pressure stretching across the western Caribbean/southeastern GOM. And the convective feed back issues that come with it. Like they say, "all model output is useful-even if it's wrong". Just deal with it, lol.

The ECMWF holds the ridge ADDED:(but just barely). If pressures were lower, we'd probably have a disturbance.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920

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