El Niño: A Pack of Predictions

August 19, 2014

Credit: NASA

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El Niño is coming! It’s going to be HUGE! No, it’s dying! No, it’s coming but it will be weak!

There are a lot of different predictions on whether this winter will have an El Niño, Source: NASA

Getting whiplash yet?

Here’s what is going on.

The El Niño is an ocean and weather pattern in the Tropical Pacific. Because it is so big, the pattern affects weather all over the globe. In particular, a strong El Niño brings warm winters to the North and drought-breaking rainfall to the West. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to news about El Niño.

Unfortunately, the news is confusing—really confusing!

Since the 1400s, people observed that when the Eastern Tropical Pacific heats up, becoming an “El Niño”, it creates rainfall in parts of the Americas. By the late 1800s, scientists began to study the pattern and its global impact. With the arrival of satellite observation and ocean buoys, the studies and definitions became very detailed and precise.

The scientific definition for an El Niño has been narrowed down. Is it too narrow? Source: Browning Newsletter

The Pacific has many different currents flowing through it. During May, it looked like a very strong El Niño was developing. Starting in June, a small cool current churned it up. Now another little current, this one very warm, is starting to drift into it.

What is happening is that all this churning has kept the Tropical Pacific from looking like the precise narrow pattern now used to define El Niño. Despite not fitting the exact scientific definition of an event, most of the Tropical Pacific area water is warm and is creating El Niño style weather.

At the moment, the consensus of scientists, say the Pacific is neutral and there is a 67% chance of a late autumn/winter El Niño. Other announcements hint of a 50% possibility in spring.

El Niños bring welcome winter rainfall to California. Source: NOAA

So far, conditions in the Pacific have been similar enough to an El Niño to give us a cooler summer and an excellent crop year. Now Californians get to hope that the Pacific remains similar enough to give them drought-breaking El Niño-style rain this winter.

It’s possible, even likely. The Tropical Pacific is starting to warm up again. But—wow—this year the Pacific is really confusing!

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Evelyn Browning Garriss, historical climatologist, blogger, writer for The Old Farmer's Almanac, and editor of The Browning Newsletter, has advised farmers, businesses, and investors worldwide on upcoming climate events and their economic and social impact for the past 21 years.

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Comments

EL NINO LOOKS LIKE IT IS

By Jerry L. Litton on September 12

EL NINO LOOKS LIKE IT IS BEING SUCKED INTO THE equator AND WILL BE LIFTED UP AND DISTRIBUTED MOSTLY NORTH SIDE, INTO THE MAIN JET STREAM AND WILL GIVE US MORE RAIN THAN WE WANT, WILL GIVE US MORE DROUGHT THAN WE WANT, WILL GIVE US MORE WEATHER CHANGES THAN WE WANT OR CAN HANDLE, AND IT WILL BE OFF SCHEDULE WITH NORMAL WEATHER ABOUT SIX WEEKS, WILL INCREASE ABOUT 10 TO 20 PERCENT A YEAR FROM NOW ON, ALL THE WAY AROUND THE WORLD. WHY NORTH SIDE, THAT IS WHERE MOST OF THE ECOLOGY CHANGE IS HAPPENING, LIKE PLANES, FACTORIES, PEOPLE DOING STUFF PLUS MOST OF THE PEOPLE AND SUCH, NOT NEARLY AS MUCH ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF IT, A HALF EARTH CHANGE YOU MIGHT SAY, BUT DON'T WORRY, THEY GOING TO CATCH UP WITH US SOON. YESTERDAY DUE TO HEREDITY AND DISSEMINATION OF RESOURCES. ABOUT 5:30 PM YESTERDAY, IT WAS ABOUT 89 DEGREES TEMPERATURE OUTSIDE, I GOT TO MY OFFICE, TOOK THE TEMPERATURE OF THE BACK TIRE ON MY SILVERADO THAT HAD BEEN SITTING ON CEMENT SINCE EARLY MORNING AND HAD NOT BEEN MOVED AND IT WAS 156 DEGREES f, TOOK TEMP OF CEMENT AND IT WAS ABOUT 120 DEGREES, THE SUNNY SIDE OF MY TRUCK IT WAS 130, THE SHADED SIDE OF THE DUMPSTER AND IT WAS 115 DEGREES AND THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE DUMPSTER WAS 156 DEGREES AND i SAID WHAT'S THE MEANING OF THIS AND i GOT TO THINKING, YOU KNOW HOW YOU CAN TAKE A MAGNIFYING GLASS AND START A FIRE WITH IT, WELL THE ATMOSPHERE IS SO DEEP, DEEPER THAN IT USE TO BE WITH ALL THE CIVIL, MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL AIR TRAFFIC, FIRES ON EARTH, VOLCANOES AND SUCH AND PROPULSION TRAILS INTO AND OUT OF THE SPACE PLACES WITH ALL THE MAGNETIC ATTRACTION PRODUCED WHEN MOTION IN AIR IS CONDITIONED AND SPLASH OF RE-ENTRY OF VEHICLES THAT SPLASHES OUT, AND IT DOES NOT RECLAIM ITS USUAL POSITION, WITH SUCH A CHEMISTRY IN IT IT IS MAGNIFYING SOLAR LIGHT SO THAT IT DOES THIS, NOT IN THE CONCENTRATED STREAM OF THE MAGNIFYING GLASS BUT IT IS CONCENTRATED ENOUGH SO THAT IT IS INTENSIFYING LIGHT WAVES INTO MORE THAN THEY SHOULD BE, AND LIKE A MAGNIFYING GLASS IT IS INCREASING THE TEMP OF THINGS NOT AIR, WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR THE LOWER AIR TEMP BUT THE OVER WHELMING FEELING IT IS HOTTER THAT THE TEMPERATURE PLUS HUMIDITY WHICH IS WARMING THE EARTH THROUGH CONVECTION, NOT CONDUCTION. AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER, SAME BACK SUNNY TIRE TEMP WAS DOWN TO ABOUT 110, DUMPSTER SUNNY SIDE ABOUT THE SAME AND SHADED SIDE ABOUT 103, CEMENT DOWN TO 98 IN PLACES. SO WHEN THE SUN IS SHINNING, IT IS MAGNIFING TEMPS ABOUT 15 PERCENT DUE TO CONVECTION OF DIFFERENCES IN DYNAMICS OF MATTER SUCH AS BLACK TIRES, CEMENT, STEEL AND OTHER THINGS, PLUS BARE DIRT IN FIELDS THAT ARE NOT COVERED WITH GROWING THINGS AND CUT OVER PLACES IN WOODS. WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS? NOTHING NOW. WE SHOULD HAVE DONE IT MANY YEARS AGO BUT WE WERE DISTRACTED WITH PROGRESS AND LUXURY, FIGHTING WARS AND PUTTING OUT FIRES. WE ARE WORRIED ABOUT WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT IN THE WAY OF TERRORIST AND SUCH, WE BETTER WORRY ABOUT WHAT NATURE IS GOING TO DO NEXT AND IT DON'T LOOK GOOD FOR US. IF MOMMA AIN'T HAPPY NO BODY IS HAPPY AND MOTHER NATURE IS GOING TO PITCH A FIT AND SHE HAS ALREADY STARTED IF YOU NOTICE CHANGES IN WEATHER PATTERNS AND THE WAY SHE IS BEHAVING. PAY ATTENTION MR. PRESIDENT, OUR WORST PROBLEM IS NOT THE WORLD PROBLEMS, IT IS WHERE WE ARE IN ALL THIS CHANGE IN WEATHER AND ECOLOGY. WE FIX THAT, WE SOLVE MOST OF THE OTHER STUFF. GOT TO WORK ON IT FAST, RIGHT NOW.

Love your stuff--and getting

By georgewilson on August 27

Love your stuff--and getting past all the news hype. Thanks.

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