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2021-2022 ENSO


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La Niña probably won’t be strong like I originally thought though since the ocean warmed after cooling to -.9, it’s only -.3 right now and most strong ninas are already at least moderate strength by now. For the 2010-2011 extreme La Niña event the Nina was already strong by this time in the fall of 2010. With the newest data I’d lean low end moderate rather than strong due to the current surface temperatures in the Enso region. 

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When I weighted MJO timing matches to 2/3 location on 9/1 + cold ENSO + extra weight for low solar, I came up with 1975 (x2), 2007, 2008 (x2) 2011, 2012, 2020 as analogs. I gave 1975, 2008 double weight for following La Ninas while having low solar.

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Point is, those years feature ~1/3 of days in phase 5-6 from Oct-May. Given eight MJO phases (i.e. two divided by eight phases), you'd expect only ~25% without knowing anything.

The years I like all seem to feature at least some MJO phase 5 in December. Given the warmth by Indonesia, that should be a super torch for most of you, and nice and average or cold for me as it should be. Best guess is week one of December is MJO phase five, and then we transition to 7-8 (and colder) by the end of the month for the east. Even years I like that are very hot like 2001-02 get pretty major cold shots for the East.

Recurring precipitation/storm timing here since June implies a storm or storms around 11/30 and then again around 12/30. Usually moving into phase five is stormy here, and then moving out of 6-7 is stormy. We'll see. July was rainy enough that we'll get some decent storms early. These dry/hot late Summers almost always precede one or two incredible storms and snow in Oct-Nov out here too.

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13 hours ago, raindancewx said:

When I weighted MJO timing matches to 2/3 location on 9/1 + cold ENSO + extra weight for low solar, I came up with 1975 (x2), 2007, 2008 (x2) 2011, 2012, 2020 as analogs. I gave 1975, 2008 double weight for following La Ninas while having low solar.

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Point is, those years feature ~1/3 of days in phase 5-6 from Oct-May. Given eight MJO phases (i.e. two divided by eight phases), you'd expect only ~25% without knowing anything.

The years I like all seem to feature at least some MJO phase 5 in December. Given the warmth by Indonesia, that should be a super torch for most of you, and nice and average or cold for me as it should be. Best guess is week one of December is MJO phase five, and then we transition to 7-8 (and colder) by the end of the month for the east. Even years I like that are very hot like 2001-02 get pretty major cold shots for the East.

Recurring precipitation/storm timing here since June implies a storm or storms around 11/30 and then again around 12/30. Usually moving into phase five is stormy here, and then moving out of 6-7 is stormy. We'll see. July was rainy enough that we'll get some decent storms early. These dry/hot late Summers almost always precede one or two incredible storms and snow in Oct-Nov out here too.

2008 is def. high on my list, along with 1975.

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1933 is one of the five "shit winters" out here. It's on the Mount Rushmore of hottest, driest most boring winters locally for the SW US, alongside 1950-51, 1995-96, 2005-06, 2017-18. Virtually no precipitation for months (although 1933 had a wet November).

The heat in 1933 in the West was shoved back compared to this past June-July though, so it's not quite as close as a 1961, 1974 or a 2017 in those months. The monsoon was very strong in 1933, including extremely heavy rain in September like 1995, 2005, 2013, 2017. The Mount Rushmore years tend to have one big wet September and then almost nothing for a 3-5 month period.

The years out here with highs under 70 mid-June to mid-July like this year are pretty rare. 1933 does have that. I think it was 1933, 1947, 1964, 1968, 1986...and that's it since 1931.

Locally, the first half of September 2017 was about 89 degrees for the high. This year is about 90. Cool down started a bit earlier that year, but we've got some western cool air-masses coming about 7-10 days after 2017 now. The cool down forecast for the West later this month should bring national temperatures close to the blend I like for winter.

No MJO data for 1961. But the other years I like for overall analogs tend to feature "phase 7" occurring around 11/15, and then around 47 days after for each cycle. So it occurs around 2/16 too. That's consistent with those five years above that had highs under 70 6/15-7/15. Those years tend to feature severe cold periods here mid-Nov to mid-Dec and then mid-Feb to mid-Mar. To get both those periods cold, I think you need a 7-2 transition in late Nov/Feb, and then a 1-5 transition in early Dec/Mar. The upcoming period in the 6-10 and 8-14 does look like a  1933, 1947, 1964 blend (the non-El Ninos of the five) so that's "interesting" to me. Amazing that something as random as one cold day in June can "see" that.

11 hours ago, 40/70 Benchmark said:

2008 is def. high on my list, along with 1975.

The years I mentioned are just similar MJO phases. I'm not actually that high on 2007 or 2008 or 1975 or 2011 or 2012 as overall analogs. 2011 is actually a real good ENSO match at the moment, but doesn't have much else going for it. Most of the year has been opposite in the US for temperatures until September.

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September looks like it is moving toward my tentative blend for winter. This is the idea for snow from the analogs. It's a decent match for ENSO strength, ENSO order, solar, the AMO and PDO, with high a lot of Gulf Coast hurricane hits, and a -QBO look too. Generally the look is more optimistic for snow in California, the mid-South and some Great Lake snow belts, but a bit less optimistic for the Northeast compared to last year. The way we get these totals by timing is also very different from 2020-21. I suspect that's true for temps too. In the West, I'm trying to balance 1974-75 and 2017-18, one very wet, one very dry, one hyper active in the Atlantic, one hyper quiet, both weak La Nina years with similar precip/temp patterns in Summer.

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1 hour ago, raindancewx said:

September looks like it is moving toward my tentative blend for winter. This is the idea for snow from the analogs. It's a decent match for ENSO strength, ENSO order, solar, the AMO and PDO, with high a lot of Gulf Coast hurricane hits, and a -QBO look too. Generally the look is more optimistic for snow in California, the mid-South and some Great Lake snow belts, but a bit less optimistic for the Northeast compared to last year. The way we get these totals by timing is also very different from 2020-21. I suspect that's true for temps too. In the West, I'm trying to balance 1974-75 and 2017-18, one very wet, one very dry, one hyper active in the Atlantic, one hyper quiet, both weak La Nina years with similar precip/temp patterns in Summer.

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The percentages look a bit more optimistic for snowfall in the mid Atlantic than the text map. Strange that it implies that the mid ATL does better than SNE, too. Not sure I would hedge that way.

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21 hours ago, raindancewx said:

September looks like it is moving toward my tentative blend for winter. This is the idea for snow from the analogs. It's a decent match for ENSO strength, ENSO order, solar, the AMO and PDO, with high a lot of Gulf Coast hurricane hits, and a -QBO look too. Generally the look is more optimistic for snow in California, the mid-South and some Great Lake snow belts, but a bit less optimistic for the Northeast compared to last year. The way we get these totals by timing is also very different from 2020-21. I suspect that's true for temps too. In the West, I'm trying to balance 1974-75 and 2017-18, one very wet, one very dry, one hyper active in the Atlantic, one hyper quiet, both weak La Nina years with similar precip/temp patterns in Summer.

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Great write up, I hope it’s wrong in my area but it looks to me like many of your analogs have a trough in the west, which is a legitimate concern. I had some similar analogs (I had 2017-2018 and 2020-2021) but I am learning towards well above average snowfall in my area rather than 87% of normal like yours. It very well could just be me having weenie goggles on, but I did see several of the models saying the polar vortex would be weak and displaced, so I am thinking that could tilt things in our favor some. Just wondering, for that 87% figure are you thinking a more boom or bust winter with a slight lean towards the bust side (hence the 2001-2002 analog), or is it less bust potential and more of a limited ceiling that brought you to forecast slightly below avg snow for my area?

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Here is something I was toying with earlier for my outlook -

What do winters look like when solar activity rises on a July-June basis, but the winter is a weaker cold-ENSO event at the surface? My criteria here are a two winter sequence where sunspot activity increased by at least ten, and each of the two winters finishes with a 26.5C or colder reading in Nino 3.4. But the second winter has to be warmer.

Some borderline cases for sure, 1934, 1961, 1967, 2013. But the slam dunk years for meeting both criteria are 1956, 2001, 2011. That's it...since 1950.

Pairing      DJF Nino 3.4 SST / July-June Sunspots Annualized

1955-56     25.22C  / 119.8 

1956-57     26.10C  /  237.6

2000-01     25.87C /  163.4

2001-02     26.43C /  176.0

2010-11      25.21C  /  44.0

2011-12      25.76C  /  94.0

2020-21     25.58C /  16.1

2021-22     25.95C (?) / 50 (?)

Bolded Blend: 26.09C / +60 Sunspot Gain y/y. It's not a bad match. The ENSO match for all four zones year to date that is best is 1967, 2001, 2011. That blend is fairly similar too.

1966-67 + 2000-01 + 2010-11:  25.70C /  103.9 sunspots

1967-68 + 2001-02 + 2011-12:  25.99C /  138.3 sunspots.

That transition is almost identical to what I expect - a +30 to +40 sunspot gain, with a +0.3C surface gain in Nino 3.4

Both blends (1956, 2001, 2011 and also 1967, 2001, 2011) are a warm NW to SE, cold pocket SW look. I'm pretty sure that look is going to show up again. The warmth by Indonesia should enhance it too. It's interesting though - all of the years that both match on (weaker) cold ENSO after (stronger) cold ENSO and rising solar have that look.

 

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I personally think it is too late for this event to catch up to the strength of the La Nina last year. At least at the surface. Objectively, for July-September, I couldn't find a better match for the subsurface than 1992, 1995, 2020 (x2). So it is close for the subsurface. 

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Won't set up as wildly as last year, but I do expect a fairly active Fall for storms in the West this year. 

The weekly data tomorrow through mid-September will be a good indicator for how cold this event can get at the surface. Suspect you'll see Nino 3.4 drop below 26.4C finally.

Septembers with Nino 3.4 at about 26.4C below (weeklies were ~26.45C through last week). The bolded years are good for average to above average snow locally. 1983 is the hottest 9/1-9/18 period for highs locally, this year is third. A lot of other warm Septembers in this list too for me. The figure in the () is for the following winter reading in Nino 3.4.

1983    26.20 (26.00C)
2000    26.20 (25.87C)

1966    26.27  (26.01C)
1996    26.27  (26.11C)
2017    26.29  (25.72C)
1952    26.36  (26.85C)
1984    26.38  (25.55C)
1958    26.40  (26.96C)
1989    26.42  (26.66C)
1960    26.44 (26.34C)
1980    26.44  (26.31C)

2008    26.47  (25.79C)
2001    26.52  (26.43C)
1981    26.53   (26.55C)
2013    26.54   (26.21C)

You can see if we do finish as warm as 26.4C for Nino 3.4 (50/50 I'd say) in September, then it's fairly unusual to even get below 26.0C for winter. Only four of fifteen winters on the list finish under 26.0C. But obviously several are just above at 26.0C-26.15C.

 

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No change in Nino 3.4 in today’s report with -0.4 C. These Monday reports are centered on the prior week due to report lag. I fully expect it will resume cooling over the next few weeks. It has the overall solid +SOI on its side plus OHC holding near -0.9 C from what I saw for last week. I’m still going with moderate La Niña per ONI as the most likely peak this fall/winter.

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                Nino1+2      Nino3        Nino34        Nino4
 Week          SST SSTA     SST SSTA     SST SSTA     SST SSTA
 25AUG2021     20.6 0.0     25.0-0.0     26.5-0.3     28.5-0.3
 01SEP2021     20.3-0.2     24.7-0.3     26.5-0.3     28.4-0.3
 08SEP2021     20.7 0.2     24.6-0.3     26.4-0.4     28.5-0.3
 15SEP2021     20.6 0.2     24.3-0.6     26.3-0.4     28.4-0.4

 26AUG2020     20.0-0.6     24.2-0.8     26.1-0.7     28.6-0.2
 02SEP2020     18.9-1.7     23.6-1.4     25.8-0.9     28.4-0.4
 09SEP2020     19.5-1.0     23.4-1.4     25.7-1.0     28.5-0.3
 16SEP2020     20.0-0.4     23.6-1.3     25.9-0.8     28.2-0.5

Compared to last year, we're still running 0.2-0.7C warmer than all zones this week. It's definitely not too late for a La Nina for winter. But the rule is the rule. For 1950-2020, no year has seen Nino 3.4 drop by 1.0C or more from September to Dec-Feb. So we're at 26.4C for 60% of September.

There was a bit of a "downward" spike in the subsurface reading this week. Like last October. So we should see October cool off at the surface. Would not be shocked if we had an October or November peak again compared to the averages at the surface. Once we reverse upward in the subsurface, should see more Western storminess and cooler weather. Might already be on the cusp of it to be honest given some of the forecasts.

Screenshot-2021-09-20-5-33-40-PM

 

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One thing I've looked at recently is...what the hell happens a year after Nino 4 is ..actually cold? It's been so long I honestly didn't know before looking. So last December Nino 4 fell to 27.54C. Coldest December since 2011 (27.53C).

The most recent ten (non-El Nino) Decembers following a 27-28C Nino 4 are interesting years. You do have some very warm years in there (1999, 2001, 2011, 2012) but some very cold years too (1985, 2000).

These are the most recent non-El Nino Decembers to follow a 27.0C-28.0C Nino 4 December. The value in ( ) represents the Nino 4 reading in the prior December. In general, the Southwest tends to be cold relative to the base ENSO pattern effect when the Tropical Pacific warms up y/y. Most of the years below are warmer than the prior year in Nino 4, that's why you see the cold signal for New Mexico. Nino 4 looks like it is running 0.1C to 0.3C warmer than last September.

1971 (27.04)
1975 (27.42)
1984 (27.71)
1985 (27.59)
1999 (27.06)
2000 (27.18)
2001 (27.59)
2008 (27.42)
2011 (27.03)
2012 (27.53)

Mean (27.36)

2021 (27.54).  The blend I have for December works out to ~27.71C in the "prior December" and then around 28.0C for the current December. 

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