El Nino may be in the works for next winter; stories from the field

Here you can read the latest statement from the Climate Prediction Center on the neutral conditions that have developed in the eastern Pacific Ocean–La Nina is gone–and what it sees for next winter from their computer models.  While things are not clear because they are so difficult to foretell, they are talkin’ El Nino some. As we know, the Southwest can benefit tremendously in rainfall when an El Nino develops, and so it is uplifting news to hear ANYTHING about an El Nino in the future and I though you would want to read that, too. Here you can see the last few weeks of global ocean temperature anomalies and how they are changing.

Why talk about next winter now?  We should always be looking ahead in life, planning retirement, vacations, what football games to attend next fall, the important things in life;  besides, there are no clouds to talk about, only hot air currents, maybe a dust devil, so I need some filler material.  Remember when newspapers used filler material to make columns come out even, add some little fact?  Those were great.

Too, I may have to dredge up some “stories from the field” to fill in the boring gaps in weather we have today, like that time they almost rolled over our VW microbus on that big boulevard in Madras (now Chennai), India, in August 1975.  That big boulevard was reserved that day for the funeral parade of freedom fighter, Kamaraj, (against the British) with Indira Ghandi leading it.  We should not have driven on it.  Hundreds of thousands of people lined that boulevard for miles that afternoon! You would not have believed that scene!

The crowd.   What I look like when I am in India (on the right)

I am still white-knuckled thinking about our knuckle-headed project leader who thought it was going to be OK to drive on that funeral route so we would get back to the hotel faster.  He ordered our driver to go onto that boulevard, and then told him to,  “just wave at the police”,  guarding the route as we drove down it.  We were returning from the Madras airport at Meenambakkam where we had been on standby to seed some clouds if they developed over a nearby reservoir catchment area.    We were the only vehicle on that boulevard as the people waited for the official parade.

But then some of the crowd, maybe just a dozen or so, took exception to our driving down that boulevard and rushed our microbus.   Our driver, sped up and slowed down in spurts, swerving left and right as well trying to shake people off his van.  And the ones trying to climb on it did fall off, thank god, but fortunately no one was injured (or run over!)

In another bit of luck, the windows of that microbus were completely opaque due to heavy condensation on the inner surface of the windows, and so the crowds could not see that it was three Anglos in the back of that damn bus violating that boulevard.  Heart pounding now as I relive that drive.

A bit farther, the driver somehow found a side street among the crowd and drove ever so gradually through all of those people lining the boulevard and finally onto the side street he knew was there.

That was an awful thing to have done and still regret being a party to it.  But, somehow, too, my life was spared so I could write this blog in Catalina, AZ.  Interesting.  It better be good!

The latest map below (May 9th conditions) shows that the “warms” have it overall in the global oceans, and what’s important for us is that the cooler-than-normal water in the eastern half of the Pacific along the Equator (representing La Nina conditions) has dissipated.

For comparison, shown this map for May 9th is one for February 1st conditions when our La Nina was holding forth.  Note the below normal temperatures along the Equator westward from South America across the Dateline on that map, and then look to the new one.

So there are no strong forcing factors at present to alter our climate from “normal.” Still means that the weather machine will continue doing its thing, hot, cold, rainy, extremes, etc., but there won’t be a dominant pattern, the kind that leads to a greater chance of drought in the Southwest and southern states as La Nina’s tend to do in late winter and spring. Yay!  Summers don’t seem to be much affected by either of these conditions.


 The Big One, that giant trough, is still on the way for implantation in the West, but only wind projected here

Dang.  No rain.  Likely we’ll hear about low temperature records in parts of California, Nevada, the Pac NW, extreme winds at various places, and hot and windy conditions here and in the Plains States.   Very little rain is projected out there as well, at least in the early going of this enormous trough and low system.  Starts affecting us on Wednesday; the TEEVEE weather presenters will be all over this one!