Drought in Syria: a Major Cause of the Civil War?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:54 PM GMT on June 18, 2014

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Syria's devastating civil war that began in March 2011 has killed over 200,000 people, displaced at least 4.5 million, and created 3 million refugees. While the causes of the war are complex, a key contributing factor was the nation's devastating 2006 - 2011 drought, one of the worst in the nation's history, according to new research accepted for publication in the journal Weather, Climate, and Society by water resources expert Dr. Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute. The drought brought the Fertile Crescent's lowest 4-year rainfall amounts since 1940, and Syria's most severe set of crop failures in recorded history. The worst drought-affected regions were eastern Syria, northern Iraq, and Iran, the major grain-growing areas of the northern Fertile Crescent. In a press release that accompanied the release of the new paper, Dr. Gleick said that as a result of the drought, "the decrease in water availability, water mismanagement, agricultural failures, and related economic deterioration contributed to population dislocations and the migration of rural communities to nearby cities. These factors further contributed to urban unemployment, economic dislocations, food insecurity for more than a million people, and subsequent social unrest."


Figure 1. The highest level of drought, "Exceptional", was affecting much of Western Syria in April 2014, as measured by the one-year Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). Image credit: NOAA's Global Drought Portal.

Human-caused climate change a major factor in more frequent Mediterranean droughts
The paper also assessed the role of climatic change in altering water availability. There is growing evidence that annual and seasonal drought frequency and intensity in the Levant/Eastern Mediterranean region have increased from historical climatic norms, with the number of dry days increasing during the winter rainy season. Similar findings were discussed in a NOAA press release that accompanied the release of a 2011 paper by Hoerling et al., "On the Increased Frequency of Mediterranean Drought." That paper found that human-caused emissions greenhouse gases were "a key attributable factor" in the drying up of wintertime precipitation in the Mediterranean region in recent decades.


Figure 2. Winter precipitation trends in the Mediterranean region for the period 1902 - 2010. In the 20 years ending in 2010, 10 of the driest 12 winters took place in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Image credit: NOAA.

Future conflict over water in the Middle East
The potential for future conflict in the Middle East over water is significant. Researchers Heidi Cullen and Peter deMenocal discussed previous incidents in 1975 and 1990: Turkey, because it has the good fortune of being situated at the headwaters of the Tigris – Euphrates River system, can literally turn off the water supply of its downstream neighbors. When the Ataturk Dam was completed in 1990, Turkey stopped the flow of the Euphrates entirely for 1 month, leaving Iraq and Syria in considerable distress. Similarly, in 1975, when the Syrians began filling Lake Assad after completion of work on the Tabqa Dam, Iraq threatened to bomb the dam, alleging that it seriously reduced the river’s flow. Both countries amassed troops along the border.


Figure 3. Stele of Narâm-Sîn, king of the Akkadian Empire, celebrating his victory against the Lullubi from Zagros. Limestone, c. 2250 BCE, Louvre Museum. Image credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen

A great Syrian drought 4,200 years ago
Great civilization-threatening droughts have happened before in Syria. In a 2000 article published in Geology, "Climate change and the collapse of the Akkadian empire: Evidence from the deep sea", a team of researchers led by Heidi Cullen studied deposits of continental dust blown into the Gulf of Oman in the late 1990s. They discovered a large increase in dust 4,200 years ago that likely coincided with a 100-year drought that brought a 30% decline in precipitation to Syria. The drought, called the 4.2 kiloyear event, is thought to have been caused by cooler sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic. The Akkadian Empire, which flourished in ancient Mesopotamia between 2334 BC - 2193 BC, also crashed at this time, giving credence to the idea that the drought may have been a key reason why. The 4.2 kiloyear event has also been linked to the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt. The paper concluded, "Geochemical correlation of volcanic ash shards between the archeological site and marine sediment record establishes a direct temporal link between Mesopotamian aridification and social collapse, implicating a sudden shift to more arid conditions as a key factor contributing to the collapse of the Akkadian empire."

Commentary
People fear storms, and spectacular and devastating storms like Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina have stirred more debate in the U.S. about taking action against climate change than any other weather events. But I argue that the on-going Western U.S. mega-drought and Syrian drought should be louder wake-up calls. Drought is the greatest threat civilization faces from climate change, because drought takes away the two things necessary to sustain life--food and water. Drought experts Justin Sheffield and Eric Wood of Princeton, in their 2011 book, Drought, list more than ten civilizations and cultures that probably collapsed, in part, because of drought. Among them: The Mayans of 800 - 1000 AD. The Anasazi culture in the Southwest U.S. in the 11th - 12th centuries. The ancient Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia. The Chinese Ming Dynasty of 1500 - 1730. When the rains stop and the soil dries up, cities die and civilizations collapse, as people abandon lands no longer able to supply them with the food and water they need to live. The fact that the most politically volatile region on the planet is already experiencing an increase in drought that research links to climate change should be a serious wake-up call about the need to manage water resources more wisely--and to work to forge an international agreement in Paris in 2015 to cut down on the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide humans are putting into the air. Dr. Gleick's paper concludes with sensible options for reducing the risks of water-related conflicts in the Middle East, including expansion of efficient irrigation technologies and practices, integrated management and monitoring of groundwater resources, and diplomatic and political efforts to improve the joint management of shared international watersheds and rivers.

References
Gleick, P., 2014, Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria, accepted for publication in Weather, Climate, and Society

Cullen, H.M., and P.B. deMenocal, 2000, North Atlantic Influence on TIgris-Euphrates Streamflow, International Journal of Climatology, 20: 853-863.

Hoerling, Martin, Jon Eischeid, Judith Perlwitz, Xiaowei Quan, Tao Zhang, Philip Pegion, 2012, On the Increased Frequency of Mediterranean Drought, J. Climate, 25, 2146–2161, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00296.1

Kaniewski, D. et al., 2012, Drought is a recurring challenge in the Middle East, PNAS 109:10, 3862–3867, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1116304109

I'll have a new post on Friday.

Jeff Masters

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976. rayduray2013
10:32 PM GMT on June 20, 2014

Quoting ricderr:
 an El Nino is three consecutive months of 3-month average anomalies above 0.5C.

More grist for the ENSO mill.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 366
975. LargoFl
5:58 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36885
974. opal92nwf
4:24 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
.
Member Since: May 12, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 2315
973. GatorWX
4:23 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
NWS:

The Flood Warning continues for the Rio Grande at del Rio. * Until Saturday morning...or until the warning is cancelled. * At 10:15 am Friday the stage was 10.2 feet (3.1 meters). * Flood stage is 4.0 feet (1.2 meters). * Major flooding is occurring and major flooding is forecast. * Forecast...the river will continue rising to near 11.2 feet (3.4 meters) by this afternoon. The river will fall below flood stage this evening. * Impact...at 11.0 feet...(3.4 meters)...major flooding. Nearly all homes in The Vega Verde subdivision are now in the flow of the river and cut off.

Below are the latest river stages and forecasts (feet): bf fld observed forecast 7am (ft) location stg stg stg day time Sat sun Mon Tue Wed del Rio 4 4 10.2 Fri 10 am 2.8 2.4 2.3 2.3 2.2

Below are the latest river stages and forecasts (meters): bf fld observed forecast 7am (m) location stg stg stg day time Sat sun Mon Tue Wed del Rio 1 1 3.1 Fri 10 am 0.9 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7

Lat...Lon 2943 10112 2946 10102 2911 10063 2879 10048

1101 am CDT Fri Jun 20 2014

The National Weather Service in Austin/San Antonio has issued a

* Flood Warning for the Pecos River at Pandale crossing. * Until late tonight...or until the warning is cancelled. * At 10:15 am Friday the stage was 4.7 feet (1.4 meters). * Flood stage is 7.0 feet (2.1 meters). * Minor flooding is forecast. * Forecast...rise above flood stage by late this morning and continue to rise to near 9.0 feet 2.7 meters by this afternoon. The river will fall below flood stage by late this afternoon. * Impact...at 10.0 feet...(3.0 meters)...moderate flooding is well into the flood plain making secondary roads and crossings along the Pecos River and tributaries very dangerous to travel. Swimmers and tubers should leave the river as flow is dangerously turbulent. Campers vehicles and gear in the flood plain can be swept downstream. * Flood history...this crest compares to a previous crest of 9.0 feet on Nov 17 2004.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2684
972. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:12 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
971. TropicalAnalystwx13
4:10 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
While El Niño is ultimately a feature that spans several months, its development and intensification is dependent on short-term features like tropical cyclones and the MJO. That's why it's so hard to forecast in advance.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31462
970. VR46L
4:00 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Going , Going ......

Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6832
969. GatorWX
3:59 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
I don't know, I can't find much. The Accuweather link said over a foot of rain had fallen in some areas and another news link I clicked mentioned a comparison to a 1991 flood event. There's clearly flooding occurring, but I can't find much pertaining to it.

Anyway, it's Friday!
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2684
968. Doppler22
3:58 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Hope y'all have a great weekend. I finally going to the beach but it'll be cool :/ where did the humidity go? It needs to come back for a few days :p
Member Since: February 13, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 3632
967. WaterWitch11
3:56 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
thanks for the history lesson dr. master :)
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 3 Comments: 1570
966. flsky
3:55 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Sounds like a great thesis topic for an aspiring met student.

Quoting 964. flsky:

You'd be much appreciated???

Quoting 955. MAstu:

I'm a little irked that something as important and relevant as El Nino forecasting is so hard to do. We're talking about a huge pool of water that is supposed to behave more or less cyclically and yet we have intelligent people on here arguing about 1 degree C differences or even more. If the timing and magnitude are so hard to predict, it makes me wonder about the skill of other medium range forecasts.
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1912
965. GatorWX
3:53 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Despite shear maps showing a clearly visible alley of low shear, the view from the rapid scan visible satellite seems to show a more hostile environment. Sped up, it's quite evident that jet extends into or very near our little "low" from the ne. It's also devoid devoid of any convection on its northern side.




Evident as well on NOAA sats, though not as clearly.



Frankly, I'm more interested in the storms over TX. This has a lot of potential, seemingly, to be a very bad system for the Rio Grande and flash flooding in creeks and riverbeds in general. Radar estimates show widespread 6+" with isolated 10+". This had been occurring late last night already, and now the cluster of storms has slid nw still over the same river system. I'm going to look at some news sites to see if I can find anything. I did notice Accuweather had some *Breaking News* thing about the Rio Grande, but I haven't read it yet.



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964. flsky
3:52 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Deleted
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1912
963. TylerStanfield
3:50 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 961. VR46L:




Are you sure ..... it looks like its dissipating to me



It may be weakening, I was just noting that there is an ill-defined circulation underneath the hood of the system, as revealed by visible, so if convection were to try to refire, then we would be much closer to having a tropical depression then I initially thought.
Member Since: June 2, 2013 Posts: 8 Comments: 1094
962. HurricaneHunterJoe
3:48 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 955. MAstu:

I'm a little irked that something as important and relevant as El Nino forecasting is so hard to do. We're talking about a huge pool of water that is supposed to behave more or less cyclically and yet we have intelligent people on here arguing about 1 degree C differences or even more. If the timing and magnitude are so hard to predict, it makes me wonder about the skill of other medium range forecasts.


I am of the opine that El Nino forecasting is worse then the 10 day GFS!
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5108
961. VR46L
3:48 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 957. TylerStanfield:

A weak, and ill-defined circulation can be seen on Visible from the system off the east coast of Florida.
If it manages to fire off more convection over the center, and can become more defined, it may be able to make a run at becoming a tropical depression.

Shear is in the moderate to high range, so it's an uphill battle, but I've seen worse situations for tropical cyclone development.



Are you sure ..... it looks like its dissipating to me

Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6832
960. TylerStanfield
3:44 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Thank you for reporting on the warming ENSO over the past few days, but I think it's time to give it a rest, Scott. We can get the information ourselves if we want, or look back on the blog to find what we need so there's no need for the constant posting of the maps and graphs of the ENSO warming, and the commentary that goes with it.

It'd be much appreciated if Scott, Ric, and Stormwx could take this conversation of pointing figures and disagreements in personal perception of the ENSO index elsewhere, so that it's not posted on the main blog for everyone to have to see. I'd prefer for none of you guys to be banned by the moderators if this gets too heated.
Thank you.
Member Since: June 2, 2013 Posts: 8 Comments: 1094
959. Bluestorm5
3:44 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 955. MAstu:

I'm a little irked that something as important and relevant as El Nino forecasting is so hard to do. We're talking about a huge pool of water that is supposed to behave more or less cyclically and yet we have intelligent people on here arguing about 1 degree C differences or even more. If the timing and magnitude are so hard to predict, it makes me wonder about the skill of other medium range forecasts.


Honestly, it's hard to forecast exactly how strong because they don't come by often. We have only been recording them since 1950s and El Nino only come by once every several years since. I know it's frustrating, but science requires patience whether we like it or not :\ Hopefully our skill will improve on this subject.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 7902
958. HurricaneHunterJoe
3:44 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Good Morning Class!

Weather Conditions for:
Sunshine Summit, CA (SSSSD)
Elev: 3244 ft; Latitude: 33.344; Longitude: -116.732

Current time: Fri, 20 Jun 8:43 am (PDT)
Most Recent Observation: Fri, 20 Jun 8:30 am PDT (PDT)
Time Temp. Dew Relative Wind Wind Wind Quality
Point Humidity Chill Direction Speed Control
(PDT) (f) (f) (%) (f) (mph)
20 Jun 8:30 am PDT 77 33 20 ESE 3G05 OK
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5108
957. TylerStanfield
3:37 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
A weak, and ill-defined circulation can be seen on Visible from the system off the east coast of Florida.
If it manages to fire off more convection over the center, and can become more defined, it may be able to make a run at becoming a tropical depression.

Shear is in the moderate to high range, so it's an uphill battle, but I've seen worse situations for tropical cyclone development.
Member Since: June 2, 2013 Posts: 8 Comments: 1094
956. wunderkidcayman
3:36 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Hmm nice looking tropical wave just off the W coast of Africa SE of the CV Islands
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11029
955. MAstu
3:30 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
I'm a little irked that something as important and relevant as El Nino forecasting is so hard to do. We're talking about a huge pool of water that is supposed to behave more or less cyclically and yet we have intelligent people on here arguing about 1 degree C differences or even more. If the timing and magnitude are so hard to predict, it makes me wonder about the skill of other medium range forecasts.
Member Since: May 7, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 48
954. ricderr
3:29 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
I don't think they have a problem with you posting values of 1. They have a problem with you posting values of 1 and then saying. "HERE WE GO!" We still have a long way to go and simply put El Nino is not an event where rash decisions based on the data from 1 or 2 weeks can made. Because El Nino is so long on the temporal scale compared to mesoscale/synoptic events, you have to look at WEEKS of data before any trends or conclusions can be made mate. Why do you think the meteorological definition of an El Nino is three consecutive months of 3-month average anomalies above 0.5C. That's the only thing they're peeved about. Now if this trend continued for another 2-4 weeks, I am sure they would have a lot less problem with your assumptions.

If you're doubting what I am saying Scott, I just got done taking a Graduate Level course on Tropical Meteorology with a HEAVY focus on ENSO circulations. I have a good understanding of how they work.



thank you for saying concisely what i've been trying to
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 670 Comments: 21391
953. CitikatzSouthFL
3:27 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 916. StormWx:
Saying 'goodbye' to the Atlantic hurricane season because of 1 day of increased values in the Nino region is quite irresponsible actually. Even if we have 9 storms, who says the US cant get hit with a big one? Just because an El Nino occurs, does not at all mean that we wont have a season, and that we are all safe. Sigh, some people just dont get it!


I say this every season to all of the "downcasters", "bust season casters", etc.....ALL IT TAKES IS ONE hit somewhere no matter how many storms form or don't form. All we can do is watch, wait and pray that any storm that might form does not hit any populated land mass. The fun of the season is using whatever meteorlogical info you have learned and your "gut instinct" to logically "guess" what might happen. The horror is when (if) one hits, the size of the storm and how much damage is done, and whether or not lives are lost. I know it is hard to wait for the first one to form, but we have to do that with cheerful anticipation of what might occur. I am just as eager to see what this season might hold but also praying for no hits, damages, injuries or lives lost anywhere.
Member Since: August 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 439
952. WarEagle8
3:23 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Link Center and swirl on visible is evident. Main cloud clusters seem to have moved slightly west. Thoughts?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 123
951. Gearsts
3:21 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 947. StormTrackerScott:

Dr. MV along with other scientist. It was him that did a blog on this earlier this year and it didn't happen that fast. I got the information from him along with many others who proclaimed the samething. I really feel you just want to start trouble and attack me for what others are saying as well. Did it happen like some thought no. I just think it's funny how you do the same crap but yet you can't get called out without getting your feelings hurt.

So I guess you are going to attack Dr. Michael V. as well right for calling a super el-nino. Must be slow in the wife's office today I see.
Lets just wait a week or 2 and see if the warm waters can stay near 1c, i have my doubts.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1430
950. boltdwright
3:18 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 941. StormTrackerScott:

Funny how Ric and stormwx post daily values that were near .5c or under over the last several weeks and mocking the development of El-Nino but now that values are near 1C and I post this then its a problem with these 2. Got to love how some think on here.


I don't think they have a problem with you posting values of 1. They have a problem with you posting values of 1 and then saying. "HERE WE GO!" We still have a long way to go and simply put El Nino is not an event where rash decisions based on the data from 1 or 2 weeks can made. Because El Nino is so long on the temporal scale compared to mesoscale/synoptic events, you have to look at WEEKS of data before any trends or conclusions can be made mate. Why do you think the meteorological definition of an El Nino is three consecutive months of 3-month average anomalies above 0.5C. That's the only thing they're peeved about. Now if this trend continued for another 2-4 weeks, I am sure they would have a lot less problem with your assumptions.

If you're doubting what I am saying Scott, I just got done taking a Graduate Level course on Tropical Meteorology with a HEAVY focus on ENSO circulations. I have a good understanding of how they work.
Member Since: March 1, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 177
949. yonzabam
3:13 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
C&P

Conditions remain favourable for an El Nino event to develop, with sub-surface temperatures in the Pacific at depths of about 100 metres running about 5 degrees above normal. The patch of anomalously warm waters has also reached the far-eastern Pacific, Dr Watkins said. Surface temperatures are about 1-2 degrees above normal for much of the equatorial ocean.

"Right now, this is the crucial stage for the El Nino to gain amplitude,” Professor Timmermann said. “If the westerlies do not come along, it will be a weak to moderate El Nino.”

Dr Watkins said the focus was now on a strong pulse of cloud and rain in the equatorial Indian Ocean. That pulse – known as a Madden-Julian oscillation – may be the source of the next burst of westerly winds if it retains sufficient strength when it reaches the Pacific.

“We’re all waiting to see what happens,” Dr Watkins said.

Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2894
948. boltdwright
3:12 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 931. ricderr:

Folks in the Weather Service call that "Chasing Obs."

let me be the first to say.....a rise of 0.5c in two days in the 3.4 el nino region is outrageously exciting....i almost think it is unprecedented.....however...after the excitement you have to step back and realize...they're just daily values....and we have to look at weekly and monthly values to get a true picture.....consider that we've been following this transformation as the pacific makes it's way from neutral conditions to what eventually will be an el nino event for over 4 months....when you focus too much on the daily values...well...that's when you start making statements such as..."el nino will be declared any day now...or in two weeks....or june 5th...etc....etc and look foolish


Oh you know I am agreeing with you right? You can't make statements declaring something based on such little data. It drives me crazy just as much as you! Especially when we are considering such an event that is large on the temporal scale. I am also baffled how people will say "El Nino will be here in 2 weeks," when according to meteorological definition we CANNOT have an El Nino declared before September 1st (because MAM had an index value of -0.2 and we need 3 consecutive 3-month averages of above 0.5). Sure we might have El Nino conditions, or something suggesting such. But El Nino cannot be declared another 2 months at the least.
Member Since: March 1, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 177
947. StormTrackerScott
3:12 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Dr. MV along with other scientist. It was him that did a blog on this earlier this year and it didn't happen that fast. I got the information from him along with many others who proclaimed the samething. I really feel you just want to start trouble and attack me for what others are saying as well. Did it happen like some thought no. I just think it's funny how you do the same crap but yet you can't get called out without getting your feelings hurt.

So I guess you are going to attack Dr. Michael V. as well right for calling a super el-nino. Must be slow in the wife's office today I see.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2323
945. ricderr
3:01 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Ric please everytime you get a chance you post how the enso numbers are low b ut when I post that they are rising then you get your pants in a wad. Your kinda funny watching your post trying to bash me all the time.


scott...but you've been calling for this super el nino to be declared...in april.....wintertime....then spring...then may...then june.....along the way you've dropped in "any day now"....in "two weeks"....in "three weeks"
and june 5th......and i've posted how that's been foolishness...i admire those that can ignore this crap...but i can't...unjustified hype just wears on me..in my next life i'll do better
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 670 Comments: 21391
944. watusisurfteam
2:59 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
I have been a attending interguvernamental panels, symposiums, etc. on climate change for the past 4 years. They inevitably address issues on how to face all the critical elements that are expected to arise. Only on the rarest occasion an academe or an NGO leader will address the most critical question of all... why is nothing consequential resolutely being done to stop catastrophic change?

It appears it's a fait accompli... Pogo was right. .. we're lemmings.
Member Since: July 19, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
943. StormTrackerScott
2:53 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Anyways Ric I'm out you guys have a nice day and I will be back sometime next week as work is calling again.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2323
942. StormTrackerScott
2:52 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 939. ricderr:

But this is the same person who post daily values under .5C. I think we all knew this was going to happen but we needed one more MJO to give it one more push. Lots of 5C anomalies lying just beneath the surface across Nino 3.4 and nino 3. If this MJO can last 2 more weeks then it will be interesting to see how much higher these values can get.


actually...i post something on el nino probably everyday......regardless if it is high or low....and in may...i posted what i felt were the three most likely scenarios for el nino to be declared...with july the most likely...august next...and june least likely....if you don't think i'm not freaking standing on my chair cheering as this makes july look more likely....well....you might not realize how much i don't like eating crow :-)


Ric please everytime you get a chance you post how the enso numbers are low b ut when I post that they are rising then you get your pants in a wad. Your kinda funny watching your post trying to bash me all the time.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2323
941. StormTrackerScott
2:50 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Funny how Ric and stormwx post daily values that were near .5c or under over the last several weeks and mocking the development of El-Nino but now that values are near 1C and I post this then its a problem with these 2. Got to love how some think on here.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2323
940. ricderr
2:50 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Yep..It reminds me when there is a storm appears to change direction to the west or north, and suddenly someone believes that they are now in the path when it was just a wobble.


exactly!!!!.....
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 670 Comments: 21391
939. ricderr
2:48 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
But this is the same person who post daily values under .5C. I think we all knew this was going to happen but we needed one more MJO to give it one more push. Lots of 5C anomalies lying just beneath the surface across Nino 3.4 and nino 3. If this MJO can last 2 more weeks then it will be interesting to see how much higher these values can get.


actually...i post something on el nino probably everyday......regardless if it is high or low....and in may...i posted what i felt were the three most likely scenarios for el nino to be declared...with july the most likely...august next...and june least likely....if you don't think i'm not freaking standing on my chair cheering as this makes july look more likely....well....you might not realize how much i don't like eating crow :-)
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 670 Comments: 21391
938. Llamaluvr
2:46 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 901. Tazmanian:


Good morning Taz !!!!
Member Since: July 8, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 197
937. opal92nwf
2:42 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Tallahassee Florida
428 am EDT Fri Jun 20 2014

Near term [today]...
MOS pops are mostly in the single digits for today which seem too
low despite the deep layer ridging in place. We have seen a fair
amount of convection develop along the sea breeze the past few days
and will go with persistence. The mean flow will once again be light
from the north to northeast (regime 2) so most convection should be
confined to the Florida zones this afternoon.
Temperatures will
continue to be hot with highs in the mid to upper 90s inland areas
and around 90 along the coast.

Short term [tonight through sunday]...
an upper high is forecast to remain anchored over the lower MS
valley with a ridge axis extending eastward across cntrl/nrn Alabama/Georgia and
another axis swd to high in wrn Gulf thru Sat night. Locally, this
translates to northerly flow above lowest levels. A series of shortwaves
will move swd in this flow and gradually weaken ridge thru the
period so by sun aftn ridge rather flat with local flow becoming
westerly.
At surface, west-East Ridge persists across north/cntrl Gulf while low
sets up along SC coast with weak trough west-southwest across cntrl al/GA.
All this yielding type 4 seabreeze west-southwest low level flow.


Absent upper forcing, convection on Sat will be mainly due to
aftn/early eve Gulf seabreeze focused along and south of I-10.
By
sun aftn, low moves further off coast with assocd trough shunted
swd with boundary likely stalling just to our north with increased
moisture pooling into our area. Area pwats increase to around 2
inches. This will enhance chances of Gulf seabreeze/outflow
boundary clashes which could generate strong to possibly isold
severe storms.


Will go with at or below wdly sct pops tonight, 30-40% Sat, 20-30% Sat
night and 30-50% on sun. Inland lows each night in low-mid 70s.
Model sounding show warming at 850 mb-700 mb with 850 mb temps around 19c next
few days. Expect highs each day from low 90s southeast Big Bend to mid to
upper 90s elsewhere. Heat indices generally 100 to 104 degrees.
Patchy fog possible late tonight into early Sat morning.

Long term [sunday night through next thursday]...
early next week, we'll see mostly zonal flow aloft over the
southern states, with the exception of a SW trof across the
appalachian mtns. This may help feed an mesoscale convective system to our NE and give US
moist, SW flow at the lower levels, which will likely mean slightly
wetter than normal sea-breeze day on Monday.
Chances of afternoon
thunderstorms will be around 50%, with highs in the low-mid 90s and
lows in the low 70s. Mid-next week, the model GFS and European model (ecmwf)
solutions begin to diverge, adding uncertainty to the forecast. The
GFS brings on a much more disturbed pattern, with a TUTT bringing
deep layer Gulf moisture to the area, increasing rain chances and
decreasing temperatures. Meanwhile the European model (ecmwf) solution brings in a
ridge over the Gulf by Thursday, meaning less moisture and higher
temperatures.
For now, keeping forecast closer to climo with pops
around 40%, highs in the low 90s and lows in the low 70s for Tuesday
through Thursday.
Member Since: May 12, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 2315
936. hydrus
2:38 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 931. ricderr:

Folks in the Weather Service call that "Chasing Obs."

let me be the first to say.....a rise of 0.5c in two days in the 3.4 el nino region is outrageously exciting....i almost think it is unprecedented.....however...after the excitement you have to step back and realize...they're just daily values....and we have to look at weekly and monthly values to get a true picture.....consider that we've been following this transformation as the pacific makes it's way from neutral conditions to what eventually will be an el nino event for over 4 months....when you focus too much on the daily values...well...that's when you start making statements such as..."el nino will be declared any day now...or in two weeks....or june 5th...etc....etc and look foolish
Yep..It reminds me when there is a storm appears to change direction to the west or north, and suddenly someone believes that they are now in the path when it was just a wobble.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506
935. StormTrackerScott
2:38 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 931. ricderr:

Folks in the Weather Service call that "Chasing Obs."

let me be the first to say.....a rise of 0.5c in two days in the 3.4 el nino region is outrageously exciting....i almost think it is unprecedented.....however...after the excitement you have to step back and realize...they're just daily values....and we have to look at weekly and monthly values to get a true picture.....consider that we've been following this transformation as the pacific makes it's way from neutral conditions to what eventually will be an el nino event for over 4 months....when you focus too much on the daily values...well...that's when you start making statements such as..."el nino will be declared any day now...or in two weeks....or june 5th...etc....etc and look foolish


But this is the same person who post daily values under .5C. I think we all knew this was going to happen but we needed one more MJO to give it one more push. Lots of 5C anomalies lying just beneath the surface across Nino 3.4 and nino 3. If this MJO can last 2 more weeks then it will be interesting to see how much higher these values can get.

If this MJO didn't come then El-Nino probably wouldn't materialize but now that it has we are seeing finally the meat of this subsurface warm pool come to the surface across the Nino 3.4 and Nino 3. Remember the Kelvin Wave surface surfaced across Nino 1&2 back in April with the last MJO but that wasn't enough to get warm waters to surface across Nino 3 and 3.4. It needed another push. Also the SOI is finally starting to drop again and add to that a PDO of 1.80 which is very high.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2323
934. StormTrackerScott
2:35 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 927. yonzabam:



I don't see how you can say that a 'spike' of 0.7C, occurring over just 2 days, is 'levelling off'.


The last 2 updates haven't spiked as much is what I was referring to.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2323
933. hydrus
2:35 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506
932. SLU
2:34 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 929. CaribBoy:

That wave was a complete bust... and so is THE GFS SHORT RANGE FORECAST :/ The upper ridge, always the upper ridge! It's depressing...


Looks like one of those years when we will have to take whatever we get ....


Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 4859
931. ricderr
2:30 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Folks in the Weather Service call that "Chasing Obs."

let me be the first to say.....a rise of 0.5c in two days in the 3.4 el nino region is outrageously exciting....i almost think it is unprecedented.....however...after the excitement you have to step back and realize...they're just daily values....and we have to look at weekly and monthly values to get a true picture.....consider that we've been following this transformation as the pacific makes it's way from neutral conditions to what eventually will be an el nino event for over 4 months....when you focus too much on the daily values...well...that's when you start making statements such as..."el nino will be declared any day now...or in two weeks....or june 5th...etc....etc and look foolish
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 670 Comments: 21391
930. boltdwright
2:20 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 927. yonzabam:



I don't see how you can say that a 'spike' of 0.7C, occurring over just 2 days, is 'levelling off'.


Folks in the Weather Service call that "Chasing Obs."
Member Since: March 1, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 177
929. CaribBoy
2:19 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
That wave was a complete bust... and so is THE GFS SHORT RANGE FORECAST :/ The upper ridge, always the upper ridge! It's depressing...
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5930
928. sailfish01
2:12 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Is it just me or are all of the NOAA web sites down (including the NHC)?
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 99
927. yonzabam
2:11 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 925. StormTrackerScott:

Nino 3.4 up to 0.976C and nino 3 up 1.218C. Nino 3.4 however seems to be leveling off now and could cross 1.0C later today or tomorrow.


I don't see how you can say that a 'spike' of 0.7C, occurring over just 2 days, is 'levelling off'.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2894
926. StormTrackerScott
2:07 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Quoting 922. yonzabam:



You're the stirrer on here. You have an unhealthy obsession with STS, and need to get a grip of yourself.


It's a little weird I would agree.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2323

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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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