Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Why will El Nino turn out potentially weaker then expected?

After expectation's were very high coming off a record breaking oceanic kelvin wave this past spring, tides have turned in the ENSO department with the prospect's of a strong el nino dwindling. Below are some of the factors I am looking at regarding ENSO:

1) Solar flux has dropped at or below 75 for the first time since november after a double peak this winter/spring period signifying a long and weak cycle. This should have some implications on ENSO this upcoming fall/winter.

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2) Despite negative 200mb CHI propagation into the central/eastern pacific this week, any WWB's over the WPAC are expected to remain weak/stationary over the next week. This displays that even period's which favour el nino strengthening are failing to produce major changes to the subsurface anomalies.
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3) Cooler than normal subsurface SST's have replaced the strong downwelling OKW that formed in the early spring period.

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4)AAO/Atlantic circumpolar wave forcing has helped keep the western IO cool while SST's in and around the maritime continent are well above normal. This makes it very difficult to keep the SOI predominantly negative. SOI values are expected to remain negative through early July with a reversal to positive values expected after ~7/3 as the MJO wave propagates east.

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5) A weak K/O current this spring means the JJA "summertime" AO anomaly should remain predominantly positive correlating to this SST anomaly setup.

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6) Underwater currents have shifted to an easterly anomaly after it was initially suspected that the base state of the pacific changed to a mean westerly anomaly as a result of the mega downwelling OKW in the spring. Obviously that claim was proven false.
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For these reasons i'm expecting a weakening and retrograding el nino anomaly as we head into winter. In the end, moderate ENSO strength is likely IMO in the trimonthly ONI dataset (+1.0 to+1.5c peak). Any questions/comments, feel free to shoot away in the comment section below.

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