June 29, 2014

Dear Texans: Don't count your chickens yet on El Niño (updated)


There continues to be more hints that an El Niño system may be in the process of developing in the Pacific. Such systems normally bring more rain to Texas, and definitely more rain to the Southwest.

But, as of now, it's pretty clear that any such El Niño won't come until after the end of summer.

(Update, June 17: John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas state climatologist, agrees with my header:
In early May, NASA predicted a very strong El Niño, Nielsen-Gammon said. NASA based the prediction on satellite images showing patterns of temperature and ocean height that were similar to those of May 1997, a year of one of the strongest El Niño oscillations of the 20th century.

“But the recent computer model forecasts are not so enthusiastic,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “More likely, we’ll end up with a weak to moderately strong El Niño.”

This means much of Texas could still have a wetter than normal late fall and winter, just not as wet as it might be with a very strong El Niño, he said.
More here on other climatologists agreeing with Nielsen-Gammon; the expected El Niño looks like it's dying out. Back to your regular climate programming.)

First, note the temperature map for July-September. It ain't gonna be a cool summer, is it?

In fact, that 40 percent chance of above normal temperatures covers the whole state in June, and the eastern two-thirds in October, as well.

So, again, no temperature relief until fall.

Precipitation?


No significant part of Texas moves into the 40 percent change of above normal precip until November, per the map at left.

And, that's about as good as it gets. Chances of above average rain and below average temperature disappear by early spring.

And, not just Texans should be cautioned.

That precipitation map is also about as good as it gets for California.

Now, that's several months out. Nonetheless, don't expect the next El Niño to be a major game-changer.

That's you, global warming denialists in Texas, I'm talking to above all.

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