El Niño 2015-16 becoming Poster Child for "All El Niños are not the same!"
Among the mantras from the past year by myself, SF State Professor Dr. John Monteverdi and many other responsible meteorologists, are that 1) each El Niño is unique, 2) the number of past events is statistically very small for comparison, and 3) that there are "no guarantees". To date many of the blogs, webpages and associated articles have look at the similarities to previous strong and very strong El Niño events.
However, as the El Niño 2015-2016 and its impacts continue to unfold, Dr. Monteverdi and I felt it's important to look at how this year is dissimilar in many ways to previous events. To that end we have co-authored the following page: Differences Between 2015-16 El Niño and Previous Strong and Very Strong Events.
Below is one of the figures from that page, which breaks down the Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies (SSTAs) for each of the strong and very strong El Niños for all four of the Niño sampling regions in the tropical Pacific. Other data includes how the circulation patterns are different along with how the November through January precipitation and temperature patterns don't match very well with previous events,
Coming soon, will be a separate page with how the second half of the winter during these events has looked.
Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services
Dr. John Monterverdi, CCM
San Francisco State University