El Nino Returns?

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

118 Responses to El Nino Returns?

  1. …er…the site went wacko for awhile…

  2. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Larry, sorry I had been super busy tracking storms in the Dallas/Fort Worth area… Also I clicked your link several times earlier and it refused to work for me.

  3. N3EG says:

    Muxpux – sun’s out, here comes the west wind. Deja vu all over again. Maybe tomorrow? Naaaah.

  4. hiophil says:

    Suns out here now and it feels warm. I wonder if we can get enough heating at this point to pop up a shower or two. Not much wind to speak of so far this afternoon.

  5. sorry if this posts 3 times….
    Hey Rob can you jet over to the F5 chat for a minute, my name is the link…

  6. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Mux, I was just looking at radar and noticing there are some storms over the south Washington Cascades east slopes towards the eastern Gorge too. I think if we can manage some sun breaks we could see t-storms approaching the northern Cascades and perhaps making it to the Foothills. There is some instability present albeit not very impressive. SB CAPE 250, MU CAPE 250-500 and LI approaching 0 now. I think it is worth watching as we are nearing the middle of June and that sun can do wonders in a hurry. I am already seeing some thinning skies here. It feels muggy outside also.

    • Cap - Hood River says:

      These cells look like they’re on a b-line for HR.

    • muxpux says:

      i think im a little bit too optimistic though those small cells just now popping up on the eastern border of cowlitz county have my attention though.

      seems if they can grow some and sustain a bit, Longview could see some action.

      granted i dont expect anything outrageous, but like ive said, i just want some lightning and ill be good for a while.

      im sitting at 70, and have had filtered sunbreaks on and off today

    • Looks like the cells over SW WA are slowly with time, edging closer westward into the foothills…I see that max CAPE is expected to be around 5 to 7pm this afternoon/evening (600-850 J/kg)in this area…VIS Satellite showing good buildup of cloud tops creeping into the foothills in the southern WA Cascades.

      I hope we can get more warming here as the day goes on. Not much in the way of sunbreaks so far..

      Again, more good storm chasing in the southern plains today.

      Hope our pattern here repeats itself frequently this summer…Already been a couple episodes of severe weather in and around the metro area…Could be fun!

      62.8F Td 58.5 RH 86% light SW wind

  7. muxpux says:

    lightning showing up in those “cells” over the S. WA cascades….

    now if only they could hold up across the mountains. wishful thinking?

  8. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Why we didn’t get t-storms Tuesday.

    My thoughts
    ——————
    Trust me I really wish I had been wrong because a 2-4 hours nocturnal light show would have been great. When I had initially posted the info a few days ago from I believe it was the 00z WRF-GFS CAPE model I had some hopes. I then checked the 500-700mb winds flow and sure enough SE flow aloft…. Then I checked surface temp/wind model and sure enough 80-83F with really no onshore flow….

    Tuesday morning started off rather chilly with temps in the upper 40’s to mid 50’s with mainly clear skies. The start of the day was a great with wall-to-wall sunshine, but monitoring surface pressure gradients I began to become concerned. Watching VIS loop from 7-9 AM I noticed the stratus pushing into Clackamas County due to the increasing SW marine surge. Unfortunately as things progressed Tuesday morning into the early afternoon hours the marine influence did not abate far enough south leaving a light 5-10mph SW wind that kept a stable layer from the Foothills westward and south of the Columbia River.

    Looking at VIS and WV loop you could see the weak upper low was not situated far enough south rather west of North Bend with the circulation moving mainly eastward…. This was too close and is what gave the persistent onshore flow… We needed the upper low west of Brookings roughly and moving a bit more northeastward.

    Sometimes you simply trust your own instincts, what you’re seeing actually occurring, or what patterns you’re seeing rather than computer models and that’s really all I did. The morning AFD gave hope, but still that persistent and pesky marine breeze kept going and the stratus was slowly creeping N-NE through Clackamas County.

    Now if we had shut that off and warmed into the 75-80F range and THEN during the late afternoon/early evening saw a sudden onshore surge moving up from Salem/McMinnville then that definitely could have triggered a burst of activity as we would have likely had better instability right over the heart of the valley. By the 2 PM AFD I was just scratching my head because none of it made any sense and I assumed they were model riding (No offense NWS)… Oh well you win some and you lose some, and I’ve lost my share….

    I’d say all in all overall from the Cascade crest westward we did real well with 3-4 additional severe thunderstorm warnings issued. Cascades westward has had an abnormal amount already this year and I have a feeling we will see more throughout the Summer (IF the Monsoonal season forecast verifies) I can’t wait for the next possibility of a t-storm outbreak.

    Any thoughts?
    – Rob

    • hiophil says:

      I think that’s a very good explanation Rob. I knew as I fought the headwinds while biking home that there was too much onshore flow, and when I checked and saw the winds blowing over 10mph from the SW on my station I said (privately, not on the blog) that there would be no convection on the westside of town.

      I cannot remember seeing significant convective T-storm activty on the westside when there has been any kind of strong SW winds (over 5 mph) with a couple of notable exceptions in the winter involving sharp frontal boundries.

      For example: The highest windspeed prior to last May’s t-storms was 5mph at my station, and direction was variable. Even as the Marine Push was occuring the top wind speed was 8mph. Yesterday I had wind speeds up to 15mph from mostly from the SW. The 06z GFS did not show this wind. This kept temps cooler and helped stabilize the lower atmosphere like you mentioned.

      I’m sure there are exeptions, just not any I can remember.

  9. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    well guess not…

  10. muxpux says:

    another thing…

    eastern oregon is onlylooking at mid 60’s for highs, thus limiting storms there.

    eastern washington, most places are already in the low 70’s. and if you look at the radar/sat. loop, it seems that anything that fires over the S.WA cascades, should move in Longviews general direction. hopefully if we get some storms firing today they wont be so stationary.

    i just want some d**n lightning already!!!!

  11. muxpux says:

    so what are the chances something fires up east of the cascades, and makes it across to us? with this odd flow, it doesnt seem entirely impossible.

    that cell up in toledo JUST missed us here in longview, in fact the neighbors parents said they were hearing pretty frequent lightning in Castle Rock.

    it doesnt seem like theres much activity over the cascades today, but there are a few cells, and it is early still…

  12. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Does anybody know a website that has severe weather alerts documented before 2001? The websites that I know of only have alerts from 2001 – current.

  13. Cherie says:

    Yup, raining here….not drizzle for sure

  14. Hm… This question apparently got lost in the ether…

    Is there a defined (soft or hard) difference between a weak or strong El Nino or La Nina? The graph suggests a 2 degree max El Nino in the winter months, and you described it as mild, Mark.

    Just curious.

  15. Cloudy and dry this morning, currently 56°.

  16. hiophil says:

    Had a nice heavy if fairly breif shower around 5:30am.

    Looks like return flow off the Cascades is bringing us some showers this morning.

    http://radar.weather.gov/radar_lite.php?rid=rtx&product=N0R&loop=yes

  17. podunk says:

    One might even call it moderate rain.

  18. podunk says:

    The patchy drizzle we were supposed to experience this morning is now extraordinarily heavy.

  19. Tetra says:

    😦 😦 😦

    Good night then.

  20. Tetra says:

    Looks like my BB Board curse killed the comments tonight. 😯 😕 @#$Q$! Tjk214423k52 jgoujuiahe9woiqioejioamiocvmoalmllaksgjjaiojfIOFIOLJQ. 😡

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I think I’ve mentioned this before, but if you change names, your comment gets sent to PENDING. So don’t change names and your comment will go straight through.

  21. Tetraforce says:

    It’s mainly clear here in Marion County.

  22. Ryan (Walnut Grove) says:

    I remember last year the dynamics where similar and all of us where ready to give up on it. Then out of no where a bunch of CG popped up right over the metro area.

    • Jerry says:

      Are you talking about this one?

      It was in 07 though, so I dont know if it’s the same event you are referring to or not.

    • Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

      I remember that July 12 storm. It went directly over me, and I never heard any thunder. I saw the lightning, had the hail, saw the warning issued, and no thunder. It was wierd. And it was the only storm I remember in 2007. A very inactive year in my opinion.

  23. podunk says:

    Interesting development in Lewis Co. just east of Centralia.

  24. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Sure looks like a bust yes…. Be back later (I think)

  25. podunk says:

    I think we can just about call this a bust…not that it was really anything to begin with…. Would have loved to have seen lightning, however.

  26. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    SPC Thermodynamic Fields
    As of 6:30 PM

    PDX/VUO metro
    —————–
    SB CAPE: 250 (Weak CAP)
    ML CAPE: 250-400
    MU CAPE: 1000-1200
    LIFTED INDEX: -2 to -4(Best LI shifting north into the south Washington Cascades)

    Northern Cascades
    —————————-
    SB CAPE: 250 (1000 south Washington Cascades)
    ML CAPE: 250-400 (1000 south Washington Cascades)
    MU CAPE: 1000-1400 (2000 south Washington Cascades)
    LIFTED INDEX: -2 to -4 (-5 south Washington Cascades)

    Yep, best instability appears to slowly be shifting north now.

  27. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    As time goes on I am just not feeling it. I’ve been sticking to my guns all day and I do not believe we will see storms. Outside at my house it is 72F with a refreshing ocean breeze. I expect the 6:30 PM SPC Thermodynamic Fields to show that the instability is shifting north into Washington. In fact I believe the southern Puget Sound area is more likely to see evening t-storms than PDX metro. Now with that being said I do see new activity trying to fire over southeastern Clackamas County, eastern Marion, and eastern Linn Counties, but as these SLOWLY progress towards the NNW I think they will die a slow death. In PDX metro we will be lucky to see a flash later this evening.

  28. Shelley Kelly says:

    Is it just me or is this storm a bust for Portland metro?

  29. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Agreed, or possibly west/northwestern Hood River County.

  30. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    There could be a severe T-storm warning issued shortly for Lewis county in SW Washington.

  31. Skip Halverson says:

    How come there is so much smoke in the air? The sun has that reddish hue that looks like a big fire somewhere.

  32. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    SPC Thermodynamic Fields
    As of 5:30 PM

    No changes. The ONLY thing I noticed was perhaps the axis of instability has shifted 25-50 miles further west.

  33. Snow-Zone/Monmouth-Elv200' says:

    These storms are pretty much stationary hardly any movement, so if your under a severe storm your going to get pounded for awhile that would be fun….

  34. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
    SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
    524 PM PDT TUE JUN 9 2009

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED A

    * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
    EXTREME NORTHEASTERN CLACKAMAS COUNTY IN NORTHWEST OREGON… EXTREME SOUTHEASTERN MULTNOMAH COUNTY IN NORTHWEST OREGON…

    * UNTIL 600 PM PDT.
    * AT 520 PM PDT…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL…AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED OVER EXTREME NORTHEASTERN CLACKAMAS COUNTY WEST OF LOLO PASS…OR 10 MILES NORTHWEST OF GOVERNMENT CAMP…AND MOVING WEST AT 5 MPH.
    * THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR…
    RURAL NORTHEASTERN CLACKAMAS COUNTY…
    RURAL SOUTHEASTERN MULTNOMAH COUNTY…

  35. cap - hood river says:

    Storms approaching Hood River from the south.

  36. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    SPC Thermodynamic Fields
    As of 4:30 PM

    PDX/VUO metro
    —————–
    SB CAPE: 250-400 (CAP is broken/very very weak now)
    ML CAPE: 250-400
    MU CAPE: 1000
    LIFTED INDEX: -3 to -5 (Same levels as last Thursday)

    Northern Cascades
    —————————-
    SB CAPE: 500-1000
    ML CAPE: 250-500
    MU CAPE: 1000
    LIFTED INDEX: -4 to -5

  37. Storms that do develope don’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon..May see more flash flood watches/warnings.

    Starting to feel humid out….

    77.1F Td 61.7 RH 59%…a southerly wind component here

  38. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    I just watched Mark’s weather-cast (I like to call it that.) and he said he thinks/expects more storms to fire further into/around the PDX/VUO metro area within the next 6-8 hours. Well that sounds encouraging.

  39. Tyler in Hazel Dell says:

    Nice development over the Cascades in SW Washington. Towers looking NE from Battle Ground. Also, some growing cumulus to the NW over the coast range.

    77 here and muggy!

    • muxpux says:

      yeah, im at 76,and it is muggy out.

      i took a walk earlier, and the breeze felt good, but i was a bit sticky when i got back.

      gonna go mow now before the rain/storms hit. (wishful thinking)

  40. N3EG says:

    Muxpux, from what I’m seeing from radar and out my window, everything from the north is moving just northwest of us, and everything moving over us is coming from the southeast.

    • muxpux says:

      yeah, but this is nearly identical the severe outbreak, in terms of flow conditions.

      were in kind of a no mans land for storms.

  41. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Edit? Uh…. what did I miss….

    • muxpux says:

      sorry, didnt have a box at the bottom, so im using the reply feature…:)

      from the storm over mt. hood:

      X2, 59 dBZ, 26,000 ft., 41 kg/m² ,1.00″hail, moving 12knts. NNE

      isnt 41 kg/m VIL high?..

  42. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    Hmmm well I have a vertigo condition, so yeah. I am here very often during weather events or t-storm outbreaks. I try not to sit here all the time, but during t-storm outbreaks it is difficult as I like to storm track and provide analysis/insight. I almost treat this as if it were a “job” Thanks for the compliment.

  43. Rob "Wrath" S.E. Portland says:

    BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
    SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
    338 PM PDT TUE JUN 9 2009

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED A
    * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR… SOUTHEASTERN CLACKAMAS COUNTY IN NORTHWEST OREGON…
    * UNTIL 415 PM PDT.
    * AT 333 PM PDT…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED OVER SOUTHEASTERN CLACKAMAS COUNTY…OR 20 MILES NORTHEAST OF DETROIT. THIS STORM WAS NEARLY STATIONARY AND IS PRODUCING VERY HEAVY RAIN WHICH COULD RESULT IN RAPIDLY RISING CREEKS AND STREAMS IN THE AREA.
    * THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL OTHERWISE REMAIN OVER MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF THE INDICATED COUNTY.

    • N3EG says:

      Check out that nearly stationary stuff between Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. Looks like the southerly flow meets the northerly flow there.

    • BCT says:

      Rob,
      Do you have a job or do you just sit online all day and night on this site??? I think you do a great job.

    • BCT says:

      Nice edit… What a loser…

    • muxpux says:

      yeah, ive been watching those cells closely, and also the satellite.

      seems a nearly identical setup to june 4th. northery flow meets southerly flow right about longview. if that northerly flow can nudge the southerly push a bit, maybe those storms can drift my way.

      or maybe if the southerly flow can nudge the northern flow a bit those storms over hood can drift west a bit.

      i dunno. hate to be screwed yet again…starting to feel like winter. “everyone gets nailed but me” syndrome.

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