7 November 2014
NOAA released an update on the El Nino Southern Oscillation this week, and the odds of an El Nino are down to 58%. One of the main reasons for this is that the atmosphere has not responded to the rather weak warming in the Eastern Pacific. El Nino is not just an ocean warming, it is an ocean atmosphere interaction and so far the atmosphere has just not picked up the Ocean’s phone call.
It looks more likely to me that we may be seeing a rarer type of El Nino this winter. It’s called a Modoki and it means “same but different” in Japanese. Modoki El Nino’s are characterized by a warming pattern that favors the Central Pacific rather than the equatorial East Pacific.
Modoki winters can often be much different from typical El Nino winters, and in some places they are colder and snowier. I am planning a future blog post that will go into more detail on this and the long-range forecast for the coming winter.
The map below shows the average temperatures for “Modoki” type winters, but each one is different and there is no guarantee this year will be one. and other factors, like Atlantic water temperatures, and the snowfall in Siberia will likely play a role. I’ll have more about this very soon.
I can give you a long-range forecast for next week that I am rather confident in! The remains of Typhoon Nuri is in the Western Pacific is going to push a lot of warm air into the Gulf of Alaska, and this will be at least partly responsible for a blast of cold air into Eastern North America later next week. The jet stream acts a bit like a water-bed, you push down in one area, it rises up in another. In this case the warm air will push it up in the Pacific and it will dip down in the Eastern portion of North America. The map below shows the low-level temperatures forecasted by the ECMWF model (From London) for late next week. While I am careful here to post long-range model data that may be wrong, I think this is basically going to verify.
Yea, it’s in Celsius, because that’s what science and the rest of the world uses. Can you say hard freeze??