“BN”, sometimes referred to in the media as the, “Godzilla Niño” of 15-16.
Before, one year ago, the drought status as presented by the National Drought Monitor folks there in Cornhuskerland, Lincoln, NE:
First, a legend, no, not a story, though we could write one, “The Legend of the Ghost Niño of 2015-16“, but rather a guide to the colorful drought intensities on the maps below:
One year ago
Now let us look closely below–you’ll have to–to see what the Big Niño has done to ameliorate drought so far THIS water year (since Oct 1):
Of course, the giant low centers spinning around in the central Pacific sent a stream of large waves over and over again that blasted the Cal coast. That was expected, and verified. But not much else did. Drought should have increased in the Pac NW–recall it was forecast to be drier and warmer due to Niño conditions. Instead, the Pac NW had record amounts of winter rain!
Cal, especially, central and southern were to be slammed. Southern Cal residents were advised to consider purchasing sandbags in one media story last fall. And, of course, we here in AZ are profoundly disappointed; conditions have only improved some in the north part of the State.
Well, of course, there’s not one dry meteorological eye in the house after a bust of this magnitude. And when our best models predicted giant West Coast storms that looked like the kind we were expecting due to the Niño, even though they were 10-15 days out, they seemed sure to happen. CMP, bloated with confirmation bias, was sucked in several times this past winter.
Sure, we knew that Niño correlations with weather are not 1.00, that is, perfect, still, the “signal”, the size of the Niño, was so huge we figured it had to come through with those mighty storms striking the lower West Coast as happened in 1982-83 and 1997-98. Those correlations, as strong as they were, of course, were limited in number since these large events are rare. Those correlations will, let us say in place of cuss words, “degrade.”
Oh, me, what will we say when the next Big Niño appears?
The weather ahead
You’re probably pretty excited about the wind and very cold air just ahead. CMP is. And, with the jet stream at 500 mb (18, 000 feet or so–5.5 km above sea level) eventually circumscribing us with its charateristic moist lower region of air, we should just enough moisture for some isolated very light showers, probably just in the Catalinas, during the period of low freezing levels that hits late Friday and continues through Sunday. Low freezing levels mean even moderate Cumulus clouds could form ice, leading to virga.
Amounts could, at the most, only be a few hundredths here, and most likely we will be missed; precip just limited to snow flurries on Ms. Mt. Lemmon and thereabouts. The U of AZ mod sees the cold blast arriving late Friday after dark.
On the other hand, Saturday and maybe Sunday as well, will be good days for you to practice your ice in clouds detection skills in smallish Cumulus clouds.
The weather way ahead
Still looking to see at least two more troughs and chances of rain during the last two weeks of the month. NOAA ensembles suggest so. Best chances, 23rd-25th, and again around the 28th or so.
Some cloud shots from our little 0.01 inch rain day on Tuesday: