Thursday, August 13, 2015

Forecast Indicates Strong El Nino

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) released it's monthly statement concerning the ENSO status. This month's forecast shows a 90% chance the current El Nino will continue through the northern hemisphere winter and an 85% chance it will continue through spring. That is up slightly from last month. The difference is they are now expecting it to become a 'strong' event with an Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) of 1.5 or greater. It is currently 1.0 and has been increasing in recent months.

What is interesting is the speculation this may become the strongest El Nino ever recorded. The record goes to the 1997/98 event which reached an ONI of 2.3. As we recently discussed, it had a devastating effect worldwide.

But, there is something different about this event. There is a huge mass of warm water in the eastern Pacific west of the U.S. west coast. This image shows the El Nino warm waters along the equator, but also the North Pacific Blob. (Red indicates warmer than normal and blue indicates cooler than normal).

Source: CCI

That North Pacific Blob was not there in 1997. What effect will this have on our current event? No one seems to know. What we do know is that for every area that for every area that gets increased rainfall, some other area will see a decrease.

Stay tuned.

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