California Drought Report #53: El Niño will soon become a La Niña

While we are having El Niño rain events outside, conditions are changing in the Central Pacific which are signalling a La Niña is on the horizon. When that happens the California’s drought will return. We need to continue to save water.

Details from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, David Whitehouse.

Sea surface temperature across the equatorial Pacific basin have cooled roughly one-half a degree over the last four weeks. At the same time, a large pool of cold water beneath the surface in the western Pacific has been expanding eastward, nearly doubling in size over the past two months.

In general terms El Ninos and La Ninas are predictable. The first such prediction was made in 1986 by Mark Cane of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Currently about 20 groups make such predictions using models that have demonstrated skill for predictions of up to 6-9 months.

The consensus of some 25 models is for a decline in sea surface temperature in the Pacific. The El Nino is expected to remain strong through the Northern Hemisphere in the winter with a transition to neutral conditions expected during late spring or early summer 2016.

Another indication that the current La Nina is waning comes from observations of trade winds. During the previous “super” El Ninos in 1982 and 1997, western trade winds were highly reversed but abruptly returned to normal within one month at the end of both of those years. Although these winds have not been as anomalously strong in 2015, the same rapid jump occurred last month.

The consensus among international climate models is that by August, sea surface temperature anomalies will be near zero, and are likely to keep declining heading towards La Nina conditions.

More HERE on global temperatures, but the real issue for California is the drought.  We should continue to store and conserve our water.


About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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2 Responses to California Drought Report #53: El Niño will soon become a La Niña

  1. gjrebane says:

    What does the recent peaking of El Nino portend for the remaining winter weather in CA?


  2. Russ Steele says:

    Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)

    The 2015-16 El Nino weather event, one of the three strongest in the past 50 years, has peaked in recent weeks and will likely return to “ENSO Neutral” by the second quarter of this year, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Tuesday.

    The El Nino phenomenon is driven by warm surface water in the eastern Pacific Ocean and is associated with extreme droughts, storms and floods. “ENSO Neutral” periods are marked by ocean temperatures, tropical rainfall patterns and atmospheric winds near the long-term average.

    “A number of El Nino–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators suggest that the 2015–16 El Nino has peaked in recent weeks,” the BOM said in a statement.


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