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El Niño, Mild Winter Chances Slip Again -- NOAA

Mother Nature has been flirting with El Niño for months now, with forecasters cautiously calling for the system's return that would foreshadow a milder winter in the Midwest.

But, the likelihood of the southern oscillation index (SOI) transitioning from neutral to an El Niño-tilted pattern continues to dwindle. What will that mean for this winter?

For months, the SOI has been neutral with some movement toward El Niño, the weather phenomenon that's characterized by warmer temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, more moisture in the southern U.S., and mild winter weather in the central part of the country. Winter forecasts earlier this year all hinged mainly on the SOI and how much it moved toward ENSO, or El Niño Southern Oscillation. In the last few months, forecasters' crystal balls have been cloudy as SOI has remained neutral. That's now starting to change.

"The CPC/IRI (Climate Prediction Center/International Research Institute) ENSO forecast has dropped the likelihood of El Niño again, to 58%, despite the presence of 'borderline' El Niño conditions (i.e., warmer equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature, and some reduction in rain over Indonesia). El Niño is still expected, but with less confidence," says National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research scientist Emily Becker. "In one decade, the pattern may be weak El Niño events followed by weak La Niña events every other year, and then the next decade the pattern may be just a handful of strong, irregularly spaced events. These decadal shifts are largely not predictable."

This means the chances of a "generally mild" winter in the Midwest have fallen slightly. How does this compare to the latest projections heading into the early weeks of winter? The long-term outlook shows greater likelihood of cooler-than-normal seasonal temperatures in the nation's center and southeast, says Don Keeney, MDA Weather Services senior ag meteorologist. Moisture expectations are still on the low side in the coming month.

"Our latest 16- to 30-day temperature outlook has trended cooler across the Midwest, Delta, Southeast, and Plains. The cool pattern across the Midwest, Delta, and Plains will continue to push wheat there into dormancy. The precipitation forecast has trended drier across the Plains, western Midwest, and northern Delta," Keeney says. "This will allow moisture supplies to decline in those areas, although moisture needs of the wheat will continue to decline as the crop pushes into dormancy. Also, the drier pattern in the western Midwest will favor any remaining corn and soybean harvesting."


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Published: October 31, 2014
Guest Post by Bob Tisdale The recent post at WattsUpWithThat Yes Virginia (and everyone else) there is an El Nino coming was written by Joe Bastardi of WeatherBell Analytics. As a result of that article, Joe and I exchanged a good number of emails. Once again, Joe Bastardi was more than willing to teach from.

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Published: October 28, 2014
It’s that time of year again weather fans. Everyone from NOAA to private forecasters to the “almanacs” are rolling out winter forecasts with much anticipation. Snowmageddon-the sequel. A blissfully mild El Nino driven winter. One trend I did highlight a year ago that favored a colder winter last year was the extent of Siberian snow cover last fall.

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Published: October 27, 2014
Even if it comes in weak, the weather pattern should bring above-average temperatures across the West, the extreme Northern Plains and New England this winter. Although winter hay prices often vary with the weather, they’re rarely impacted by long-range weather forecasts, believes Matthew Diersen, ag economist with South Dakota State University.

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Published: October 26, 2014
I am a bit surprised at some of the waffling in the meteorological community on the ENSO event ( then again, maybe it is I who will be surprised).  Its evolving . I stated on our weatherbell.com site at the start of the month to get ready for the drop in the SOI  that would allow the warmer sub surface water to come up and its like clockwork, its coming. The JAMSTEC el nino index has had this nailed from the get go.

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Published: October 24, 2014
A weak El Nino will probably develop by the year-end, according to MDA Weather Services. While sea-surface temperatures are warmer than normal across most areas in the tropical Pacific ocean, it still doesn't qualify as an El Nino, Kyle Tapley, The article Weak El Nino May Form in Warmer-Than-Normal Pacific appeared first on Insurance Journal.

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Published: October 23, 2014
Along the equator in the eastern Pacific, the sea surface was elevated half a meter in late 1997 - due to wind and warm water.

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Published: October 22, 2014
Guest Post by Bob Tisdale This is a quick update on the status of the sea surface temperatures of the equatorial Pacific, along with a brief discussion of the recent excursion of the daily Southern Oscillation Index into El Nino conditions. Things are NOT looking good if you've been looking forward to an El Nino.

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Published: October 21, 2014
MANILA, Philippines–Some 27,000 farmers might not be able to work on about 34,000 hectares of farmland because of insufficient water supply expected in the first half of 2015, according to the National Irrigation Administration. The NIA said in a situation report that the forecast was based on the initial effects of the El Niño now being felt in the Pantabangan Dam area in Nueva Ecija.

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Published: October 21, 2014
(Phys.org) -A small team made up of researchers from the U.S. and Europe has constructed a model that helps map parts of the world that are most at risk of flooding due to El Nino/La Nina events. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how ...

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Published: October 17, 2014
region, the summer of 2014 wasn't quite as cool as we had perceived it to be, we can now move on to the winter of 2014-2015. Snow was reported as far south as Florida with around 21.0" of snow falling on the Washington D.C. The Summer of 1898: With an average summer temperature of 75.0 degrees and an observed temperature of 76.0 degrees, the meteorological summer of 1898 (June - August) was 1.0 degrees WARMER than average.

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