Report From Climate.gov
Is El Niño missing? What happened to the snowfall I was promised? What is going on? Some quick answers for those who don’t want to read it all (but then you’ll miss the graphical awesomeness I coded up with an assist from climate.gov staff. So read to the end. Please.):
I. No. It’s still here. Based on measurements of sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific Ocean, this El Niño is the biggest event we’ve seen in almost twenty years.
II. NOAA CPC climate forecasters don’t promise precipitation. For some regions of the U.S., we provide seasonal outlooks for an increased chance of precipitation over a span of a 3-month (seasonal) average.
III. I really don’t know. I ask myself this all the time (particularly during election years).
Here, I’m going to present some recent observations and show how they compare to a typical El Niño pattern. Hopefully you’ll walk away with a couple impressions. The maps below are of the atmospheric flow (1) and precipitation anomalies, or departures, from the December & January average during El Niño (2). Keep in mind no single year ever perfectly matches the “normal” El Niño pattern (3). But how well is the pattern matching up so far this winter?
Keep Reading @ NOAA