El Nino Returns?

June 8, 2009
CPC Ensemble Mean Shows El Nino Developing by Fall

CPC Ensemble Mean Shows El Nino Developing by Fall

Some news today out of the Pacific Ocean that should prompt a bit of debate.  The Climate Prediction Center says El Nino conditions should develop in the Equatorial Pacific over the next 3 months, possibly leading to a full blown El Nino event this Fall and Winter.  The image to the left shows the various long range models used to predict ENSO events.  Notice the heavy blue line shows we are now in Neutral conditions with the death of La Nina last Spring.  Actually that sounds a bit morbid, but you know what I mean…La Nina conditions disappeared during the northern Spring this year.

Now you can discuss amongst yourselves for the next 4-6 months.  Typically we have mild and drier than normal winters here in the Pacific Northwest during these conditions.  Now some would (or will) say that neutral or weak El Nino winters have given us some great storms (January 1998 Snow).    Some even believe that a neutral year is great for snow in Portland, and then real crazies say “what about the lack of sunspots PLUS an El Nino year???  Could that mean the four horsemen of the apocalypse are close?”.    Okay, now I’m way off track so as I said, you have plenty of time to discuss.

The full report is at this site: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

Mark Nelsen