Was a Strong 2014 El Niño Really Ever Forecast?

Given the headlines and breathless commentators in the Spring and early Summer of 2014 there seemed to have been wide expectations of a strong El Niño beginning about now.  But was a strong El Nino really ever forecast for this winter?

 

A look at the monthly IRI mid-month forecasts beginning in February would argue, with the exception of a blip in April into the low-moderate category, that the 25 models represented in the IRI "plume" have consistently been portraying a weak event.  [That blip and some of the April hypebole may have been the result of the extensive sub-surface pool of anomalously warm water being transported eastward by a large Kelvin wave at the time.] 


The values portrayed in the graph below are the averages for the forecast members from the dynamic and statistical model categories and then the overall average.  But even looking at individual members, there was no month with mone than one member into the strong category, and most had none.

Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services
http://ggweather.com

 If you have trouble viewing the image below, it can also be found at:  http://ggweather.com/enso/fcsts.jpg 

 

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1962 SF World Series Rainout

With the  possibility of some scattered showers lingering into gametime (5 pm pdt) of the 4th game of the World Series on Saturday, here are some links looking back to a much more dramatic event.  In 1962, the 6th game of the World Series between the Giants and Yankees was washed out by the infamous "Columbus Day Storm".


Historic Newsreel Footage of 1962 Storm
http://ggweather.com/1962storm.MP4 


Summary of 1962 Storm from Mark McLaughlin
http://thestormking.com/tahoe_nuggets/Nugget_151/nugget_151.html 


Summary of Columbus Day Storm Review
http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2012/oct/fifty-years-later-legacy-columbus-day-storm-still-stands 


Bay Area Storm Index - 2nd Strongest Bay Area Storm
http://ggweather.com/basi.htm

 

Jan Null, CCM

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Alternate Satellite Imagery Sites

Most National Weather Service satellite images (produced by NESDIS) continue to be unavailable with no estimated ETA.  Here are some alternate sources:

Univ of Wash
http://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/ 

San Jose State Univ
http://www.met.sjsu.edu/weather/sat2/ 

Oregon State Univ
http://www.ocs.orst.edu/goes-images 

San Franciscos State Univ
http://virga.sfsu.edu/crws/satimg.html 

Univ of Wisconsin
http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/geo/index.php?satellite=west&file=jpg 

Navy Research Lab
http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/sat-bin/epac_westcoast.cgi 

Penn State Univ
http://mp1.met.psu.edu/~fxg1/SAT_WEST/recentir.html 

IPS
http://wxweb.meteostar.com/models/noaaport_loop.php?PATH=/var/www/leads_images/satellite/SYS/COMP/ 

Unisys
http://weather.unisys.com/satellite/index.php 

 

Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services
http://ggweather.com/home.html 

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Warm and Wet California September...Except Where It Wasn't

See:  http://ggweather.com/calif/sep2014.htm 

Most of California ended the month with above normal temperatures, with average maxima ranging from 1.4 above normal at Sacramento to 5.1 above normal in San Diego (one of their warmest on record).  The exceptions were San Francisco and San Jose, the victim of June gloom that has over-stayed its welcome, which had anomalies of -0.3 and -1.9 respectively.

Northern and Central California posted some gaudy monthly percent of normal (PoN) rainfall numbers, due in part to the relatively low normal rainfall amounts and to the over-producing storm on the the 25th.  Eureka led the pack with 520% and Redding was close behind at 505%.  Totals dropped off from north to south with Fresno at just 106% of normal, while the South Coast was close to zero.  

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FYI - I am posting less via this email server and relying more on Twitter for short quick messages.  Please follow me there:  @ggweather

 Jan Null, CCM 

 

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Odds of El Niño Diminish

The just updated NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) El Niño Advisory  has reduced their probability of the occurrence of El Niño in the eastern tropical Pacific this fall and winter from nearly 82% in June down to 66%.  This is not surprising given the gradual decrease in the previous Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies (and subsurface anomalies) in the eastern Pacific and the corresponding less robust ONI (Oceanic Niño Index) plume forecasts for later this year.

 

This is also reflected in the latest ONI (Oceanic Niño Index) and Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) analyses which have shown a slowdown in the warming of the eastern Pacific.

 

Also, keep in mind that an El Niño that was forecast in August 2012 for the winter of 2012-2013 never materialized.

 

In regards to the ongoing drought in California, it must be reiterated that even the occurrence of El Niño is never a guarantee of a wet winter AND that California can have wet winters in non-El Niño years!  See Myths and Realities of El Niño, Climatology of El Niño Events and California Precipitation and El Niño & La Niña...Are They Related to  California Flooding?

 

For additional information see the El Niño/La Niña Resource Page.

 

 

Jan Null
Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Golden Gate Weather Services

 

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National Heatstroke Prevention Day

This Thursday, July 31st, is National Heatstroke Prevention Day (NHPD).  Already this year at least 18 children have died of heatstroke from either being left in or having gained access to a vehicle.
 
Please take a minute to share information about this event to stop further tragedies. I have put together a NHPD Resource Page with links to a variety of organizations' information about NHPD as well as graphics and information sheets that you are encouraged to share via social media, email, personal contact or whatever means you deem appropriate.

One simple way is through a page setup by Thunderclap at https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/13796-prevent-heatstroke-deaths?locale=en.

Thanks in advance. Your actions may help save a precious child's life.
 
Jan Null, CCM
http://ggweather.com/heat/
jnull@ggweather.com

 

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2013-14 California Rainfall in Review

Statewide rainfall map and table of rainfall season percent of normal:  http://ggweather.com/ca2013rain.htm

In addition to San Francisco, the driest one, two and three season totals are available.  Please note the different periods of record.  See:

San Francisco - 165 seasons - http://ggweather.com/sf2013rain.htm

San Jose - 116 seasons - http://ggweather.com/sj2013rain.htm

8-Station N Sierra Index - 93 seasons - http://ggweather.com/8si2013rain.htm

 

 

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Driest San Francisco Rainfall Seasons

With the rainfall season (July 1 to June 30) ending Monday, and no rain on the horizon, this will be the 15th driest in San Francisco’s 165 year period of record.  More significantly it’s the 11the driest two consecutive seasons and the 4th driest three-consecutive season.  See  http://ggweather.com/sf2013rain.htm

Also, the 2013-14 San Francisco rainfall season only saw 42 days of measureable rain (i.e., ≥ 0.01”) compared to an average of 67 days.  This makes it the 5th fewest number of days of rain.  See http://ggweather.com/sf/season.html .

 

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National Heat Awareness Day - May 23, 2014

Friday, May 23 is National Heat Awareness Day; highlighting that heat is the #1 weather related killer in the nation. The focus of the day is not only on heat wave fatalities but also on children dying in hot vehicles and the risks of UV radiation and related skin disease.


The official statistics from the National Weather Service (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml) indicate an average of 123 deaths per year in the past 10-years, but an estimate from the CDC pegs it at approximately 1,050 per year (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6136a6.htm), an order of magnitude higher. The NWS “Beat the Heat” page is http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/index.shtml


And these statistics do not count the 38 children who die each year as a result of heatstroke after being left in a hot vehicle. Already in 2014 at least 5 children have died of juvenile vehicular heatstroke and the sad thing is that every one of these and the 606 other documented heatstroke deaths since 1998 is preventable. For more information, along with safety tips see http://ggweather.com/heat and http://ggweather.posthaven.com/children-and-cars-a-deadly-warm-weather-combination.


Please take a moment to raise awareness about these hazards…it just may save a life.


Jan Null, CCM
http://ggweather.com

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Hot Cars Can Be Deadly

Warm Weather Reminder – Hot Cars Can be Deadly

 

 

With a significant warm-up in California and many parts of the nation this week it’s time for a reminder about the dangers of leaving children (and pets) unattended in vehicles. It only takes a matter of minutes on a relatively mild day for a vehicle to reach deadly temperatures, a fact that is exacerbated the hotter it is.

 

 

Already this year two children have died after being left in hot vehicles and neither day was particularly hot! Last year there were at least 44 such fatalities and since 1998 the instances are of epidemic proportions with over 600 juvenile vehicular heatstroke deaths.

 

 

More information can be found at http://ggweather.com/heat/ or contact me directly at jnull@sfsu.edu.

 

 

Help raise awareness about this issue; it may save a precious young life.

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