Friday, January 9, 2015

Darned El Niño just can't get rolling

Yes, I've been hoping that the Pacific would spawn (ha!) a real El Niño event.  It has been on the verge, and in fact (as I tweeted) the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) has been over the three-month threshold value for two periods now, but to be a true event, it has to be over the threshold value of 0.5 for five consecutive periods.  Right now, with cooling happening on the Equator, that looks like it might not happen.

Still, the warm Pacific waters are one of the main reasons that some surface temperature datasets will indicate that the calendar year 2014 was the warmest year ever instrumentally assessed.  Japan's met agency already did, and it looks pretty likely that NOAA will too.  So even if El Niño doesn't officially happen, the warm seawater will wave a global warming flag that will convince a few more of the convinceable public.   And we need every one of the convinceable public we can get.

January ENSO update:  the little engine that couldn't quite

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