You’re probably wondering, as are Californian’s who live a little south of ‘Frisco,
“Where’s the wet winter in central and southern California?”
and for us,
“What happened to the Great Niño of 15-16 and all the drought-relieving rains that were expected in the Southwest?”
I think you need to read this: MJO update
Remember when it rained so much in early January here? We were so excited, Big Niño being underway! And all the washes were running then?
Here what this MJO update rehashes about early January and the MJO, in case you’re too lazy to read it:
“During early January, a strong westerly wind burst near the Date Line was related to constructive interference with the ongoing El Niño.”
I didn’t want you to miss the important words. “Constructive interference.” To help you grasp this phrase, this would be when TWO or THREE lineman, instead of one, create a “crease” for a running back who then runs a long ways, to get into the current sports ambience ahead of Superbowl Sunday, just ahead. That would be an example of, “constructive interference”; for the team and its running back on offense in a football game1.
That was early January, and now its early February (the 6th), in case you were wondering how old this post is…. Lets see what the MJO experts say later in this same briefing:
“The intraseasonal signal weakened by late January as it destructively interfered
with the El Niño. Suppressed convection became less widespread across the Maritime Continent and shifted eastward to the SPCZ.”
You never want to read that your treasured El Niño (aka, Big Niño here) is being “interfered” with. Dammitall!2
We were counting on the current Big Niño to make droughty things right again all over the Great Southwest!
But no, now its struggling against the Dark Forces of the MJO wind regime out there, doing its thing and is now messing around in “Phase Space 4”, this latter location is also is, historically associated with poor rains in the Southwest.3
So, WHERE the eastward meandering MJO is right now, and the wind anomalies associated with it, are likely taking some steam out of the action the Big Niño, by itself, would have normally produced in the SW.
And it doesn’t seem any Nino like storms are in our immediate future, but rather what’s in our immediate future is a reprise of last year’s “Warm in the West, Cold in the East4” pattern where storms are generally shunted far to the north of us.
At least, this is now what I think is happening and why we have had such disappointingly dry weather for the past few weeks after reading this MJO updated briefing.
By the way, don’t forget to use that acronym, “MJO” in casual conversations about weather. It will be great to toss that out if you with neighbors or at a party, and someone sarcastically says, to no one in particular, “What happened to the big, wet winter we were supposed to have?” That’s when you jump in with “MJO” and what’ going on and how its messing with Niño, is YOUR take on things. I think this would be a great moment for you5!
The weather ahead
No real rain in site over the next two weeks, only passing weak troughs, maybe some marginal rain with one maybe, as a ridge of high pressure aloft, something resembling last year’s pattern, recurs along the West Coast over the next two weeks. Boohoo.
1Offense is when you have the ball and you are trying to move it forward toward the “goal line.” Men like football in particular, though it may be a subconscious thing, because there is a clear metaphor3 to a football crossing a goal line and fertilization of female ovaries. This, of course, explains in this context, the exaggerated celebratory mode of the specific player who has carried the ball over “the goal line.” Nothing knew here, well known in Freudian circles.
2Sometimes you have to cuss to get the emotions out, an author in this month’s Atlantic Magazine wrote. Caution, this piece contains cuss words. Personally, I don’t cuss myself. So get the HELL off this blog if you want a lot of cussing.
3You will see this if you go to the last page of the MJO link in this post.
4Of course, “cold in the East” can always help the Arizona economy by getting more folks to bail on the awful winter climate they have there for AZ. That would be good.
5While I normally don’t recommend cussing, it could be that using the phrase, “….that f……g MJO is f……..g with our Big Niño” might deliver more impact and release more of your negative emotions about it. Scorsese would approve (see Atlantic link above)