California Drought Report # 70: Record El Niño Decline

The El Niño that brought much need precipitation to Northern California is collapsing rapidly and is moving quickly toward a La Niña condition, which could bring more drought to Northern California.


There was a 2-month temperature fall of -0.37 deg. C, which is the second largest in the 37+ year satellite record. The largest was -0.43 deg. C in Feb. 1988.

In the tropics, there was a record fast 2-month cooling of -0.56 deg. C, just edging out -0.55 deg. C in June 1998 (also an El Nino weakening year).

Second largest 2-month drop in global average satellite temperatures.
Largest 2-month drop in tropical average satellite temperatures.

This rapid cooling is from the weakening El Nino and approaching La Nina conditions by mid-summer or early fall.

NOAA is in agrement, reporting the equatorial sea surface temperatures (SST) are near or below below average in the east-central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.

La Niña is favored to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2016, with about a 75% chance of La Niña during the fall and winter 2016-17. More details HERE.

H/T to Paul Homewood for data and graphics above..

The rapid on set of La Niña condition increases the probability more drought conditions, however the Pacific is currently in a Positive (Warm) condition. As you can see from  the graphic below this is a wet condition.  The Pacific could resume a negative PDO as sunspots decline, reducing the solar energy reaching the planet.  This would significantly increase drought in California.  Stay tuned and watch the sign of the PDO at the NOAA PDO monitoring site HERE.

West With Out Water page 54

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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