El Nino has been promoted as competing with the record warming of the Pacific Ocean in 1997. The numbers are in for November, and the results show that the prime 3.4 region of the tropical Pacific were 3.1°C warmer than average. This was even warmer than the 2.7°C measured before in 1997, and what is more remarkable is the large area of warming compared to that year. Note, this satellite image comparison was mid November and the warmest water is marked by highest water levels shown in white. El Nino 2015 is a beast, and clearly much larger than the previous record. More maps, animations, and a forecast chart are located below.
The prior trend has held, but as I mentioned last month when the temperatures surpassed the old high mark, the average of three months is what is used to determine the intensity of the entire mechanism. It is this disruption of the normal flow of ocean water that does lead to adjustments to global weather patterns, but that takes time to evolve as well.
Has El Nino Peaked?
The weekly numbers suggest it may have as seen in the comparison (in red) to the 1997 event (in blue). We would need to see a complete month of declining temperatures
We have already seen signals of the storm pattern in the US with snow and ice from the Rockies to the Northern Plains. But the east has been much warmer than average. The trick now is to see how long the warm water holds through the winter and even where the warmest pockets will move. That can make or break the winter US weather pattern. But it does appear the climatological drop has already been seen. With the sun’s energy focused south of the equator, the warm water shifts south as well, allowing the anomaly to settle down. You can see the last 10 weeks (updated) animation showing this shift below the snapshot here:
NOAA CPC Animation Of Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies
An drop in temperatures expected through the winter.
I will have an update on our December weather outlook in my next post.
Related Winter and El Nino Stories:
Holiday Spirit Giveback: Faith in the Flakes Christmas Shirts
My boys and I are rocking our shirts from last year and believe we will see snow this month. It might be hard to imagine with this stretch of rain. We want to spread the joy in a new way. Among the new styles, we have holiday or Christmas colors, and waiting for ours to be printed. We thought it would be great if families would wear these together to open gifts under their trees. In appreciation for your support, we will be using 20% of the proceeds of these holiday shirts to purchase winter coats for kids and donating them before Christmas. The collections from this design will be added up through Dec 21 (official start of winter).
We know Hanukah is this weekend, and there are other holidays you may celebrate. This is the most universal.
Will you join our family with your family?
See all of our shirt the designs here, hosted by local printing partner Ink Splash in Westminster.
Also see: My Winter Outlook 2015-2016
Please share your thoughts, best weather pics/video, or just keep in touch via social media
Get the award winning Kid Weather App I made with my oldest son and support our love for science, weather, and technology. Our 3 year anniversary of the release and our contribution to STEM education is this November. It has been downloaded in 60 countries, and works in both temperature scales. With your support we can expand on the fun introduction to science and real weather.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]