“I think a year ago I sent you the early alert that Eel Ninyo is coming!!! Well, I think I was about 1 year early … the real deal seems to be gearing up for a more major appearance this year … check it out: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml
“My fingers are crossed for a much more typical event for 2015/16, but then again we seem to be in a very similar place as we were last year at this time (caveat part of e-mail) only a bit warmer in the tropics.”
“We shall see!”
—-from Nate M., NOAA SW Fisheries Center El Niño expert, personal communication, received just yesterday! Excitement abounds!
But, we will see as well…
Below, a different SST anomaly visual from NOAA:
There is a LOT of warmer than normal water out there! As we know now, the newly discovered “California Niño” helped tropical storms whisk into Arizona late last summer and fall stronger and wetter than they normally would be by providing warmer waters than normal over which they traveled while heading toward AZ. Think of something like the highly-caffeinated “Jolt Cola” in sea surface temperatures for those storms.
Slackening onshore winds along the West Coast last spring and summer created the Cal Niño, something now known to occur from time to time over the decades. And that warm water wasn’t much perturbed by strong storms during the winter, ones that can mix colder water to the surface. The Cal Niño means that IF any storm strikes the West Coast, they would be a little wetter than usual since the air holds more water in it when its warmer.
In the meantime, the much-heralded El Niño of a year ago1 deflated like a New England Patriots game time football into a pile of nothing, wrecking the expectations of frequent late winter and spring rains in the Great SW. Thankfully we had that ONE great, several inches rainstorm at the end of January2 and a couple of vegetation-sustaining rains thereafter.
What does all this mean for our immediate future? Will the late spring be wet? Will we have a great summer rain season?
I don’t know.
But, next winter could be great!
Today’s clouds and weather
Rain is expected to be around today, sprinkles, maybe some thunder due to a weak low aloft passing to the south of us. Cloud drift is supposed to be from the east off the Catalinas, and with the unusual warmth, the day will LOOK like a day in July or August, nice Cumulus building off the mountains in the later morning, reaching the ice-forming level fairly quickly, and then, as you know, out pops the virga and precip. So, it will be a nice photogenic day for you. Check this nice graphic of the expected temperature profiles today from the U of A.
The weather WAY ahead
Recall that today and tomorrow, at one time, as was mentioned here, we were going to experience one of the greatest storms ever observed for this time of year. Well, today’s situation is what’s left of that forecast, a coupla puny showers around, and, sure a trough is here all right, but what a disappointment!
In the meantime, forgetting about the perpetual disappointments for big rains foretold about two weeks in advance, we are once again excited by another great rain here in the far model horizon of just two weeks from now, in mid-April!
Yesterday’s clouds and more
1Not just here, but by people that know more than I do, like the CPC.
2Water is still coming down from the mountains from that 4-6 incher in the Catalina Mountains, water that can be seen still pouring over great boulders in the higher reaches of our mountains producing the morning “glistening rocks” phenomenon. “Glistening Rocks”…. That would be a great title for a love song, a sad one, because as we all know, sooner or later, we won’t see the water producing glistening rocks anymore from the big January rain. So it would have to be about a love that starts out so strong, but then fades over time, finally disappearing altogether.