Here Comes La Niña--Or Does It? What History, Models, and Experts Tell Us

By: Bob Henson , 4:28 PM GMT on March 25, 2016

After a superheated few months, the tropical Pacific is starting to cool down, one of several signs that the memorable El Niño event of 2015-16 is nearing its end. The looming question is whether this blockbuster will be followed by a sequel--which, like most sequels, could pale in comparison--or whether La Niña is waiting in the wings, ready to take the stage for what could be an extended run.

It’s not hard to find evidence of El Niño in decline. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are steadily dropping in and around the benchmark Niño3.4 region and elsewhere over the central and eastern tropical Pacific (Figure 1). After peaking at 3.1°C above average in late November 2015--the highest weekly value on record--the Niño3.4 SSTs were down to 1.7°C above average last week. Other indicators suggest that El Niño is hanging on by its fingernails. Beneath the veneer of warm SSTs, subsurface waters throughout the tropical Pacific have grown increasingly cooler (Figure 2).


Figure 1. Weekly anomalies (departures from seasonal average) in sea surface temperatures for the period March 13-19, 2016. Warm anomalies persisted over the central and eastern tropical Pacific, although less impressive than at their peak several months ago. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL/PSD.


Figure 2. Vertical cross section of temperatures (top) and anomalies (bottom) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean for the period March 19-23, 2016. Cooler-than-average waters now dominate the top 200 meters (600 feet) of the equatorial Pacific, although the surface layer remains warm. Image credit: TAO Project Office, NOAA/PMEL.


During a strong El Niño event, trade winds weaken, and recurrent periods of westerly wind help push warm water toward the eastern tropical Pacific. Surface winds averaged over a five-day period are now blowing from east to west across the entire tropical Pacific, a sign of rejuvenated trades.

All these indicators line up nicely with the classic mode of decay found in other strong El Niños of the past few decades. According to the official monthly outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, issued on March 10, “A transition to ENSO-neutral is likely during late Northern Hemisphere spring or early summer 2016.” What’s less certain is what will happen after the Pacific enters a neutral state, assuming that it does.

“I’m going to say there’s a 99.9% chance we see El Niño conditions break down by this summer,” Michael Ventrice (The Weather Company) told me in an email. All of the five analog years since 1950 analyzed by Ventrice and colleagues bring the Pacific into neutral territory (Niño3.4 SSTs within 0.5°C of the seasonal average) by later in the year. Forecast models are in near-universal agreement that neutral conditions will prevail by this summer, and it looks increasingly likely that the tropical Pacific will continue cooling, with La Niña conditions possible by autumn. However, there’s just enough uncertainty to keep forecasters sweating it out.

Springtime obscures the crystal ball
What’s known as the spring predictability barrier makes this the toughest time of the year to anticipate how the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) will behave. ENSO refers to the coupled atmosphere-ocean process that swings between El Niño and La Niña. About half of the time, neutral conditions prevail, with El Niño and La Niña roughly splitting the other 50% of the time. El Niños have been more frequent overall in recent decades, but La Niñas are more likely to recur for two or three years in a row.


Figure 3. El Niño and La Niña events since 1950, as defined by the Oceanic Niño Index, which tracks the events through three-month rolling averages of sea surface temperatures across the Niño3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific. “Very strong” or “super” El Niño events are those where at least one three-month average is at least 2.0°C above normal. Image credit: Jan Null, Golden Gate Weather Services, using data from NOAA (see the link for a larger version of this graphic).


In tandem with the seasonal cycle across the tropical Pacific, both El Niño and La Niña tend to strengthen toward the end of a calendar year and weaken during the first half of the next year. Thus, it’s easier to project the evolution of an El Niño or La Niña event as it’s taking shape, during the northern fall, than to anticipate what will emerge by the next fall.

Figure 4 (below) demonstrates the spring predictability barrier in all its glory. After being tightly clustered for the next couple of months, the various models diverge drastically by the coming autumn. If there’s a consensus, it’s for a weak La Niña to emerge by the latter half of the year. Several models have a moderately strong La Niña in place as soon as late summer, while a couple of other models bring back El Niño for a return visit by late 2016. It turns out that at least two of the models favoring El Niño (the CCSM4 and CFSv2 models, seen in Figure 4) were being swayed by an implausibly cold Atlantic--the type of initialization problem where unrealistic starting-point data can lead to unorthodox model behavior down the line. As Figure 4 shows, the LDEO model favors El Niño more strongly than any other, and that model is a fairly simple Pacific-only model without any Atlantic initialization.

Update: NOAA is announcing on Friday that an adjustment to the initialization system used for CCSM4 and CFSv2 is being implemented on Monday, addressing the cold bias in the Atlantic Ocean. Importantly, when it tested this adjustment, NOAA found a major shift: "the long-lead forecasts evolved from the current El Niño event into neutral or La Niña conditions during the next 9 months in the Nino3.4 SST plumes." Here's a NOAA technical briefing on the results. The NOAA/CPC outlook issued last week, which factored in the model initialization concerns, called for a roughly 50% chance of La Niña conditions by fall. I wouldn't be surprised to see those odds going up in April.



Figure 4. Projections of various forecast models for the evolution of SSTs in the Niño3.4 region over the next few months. These forecasts were compiled and released in mid-March. El Niño is in place when SSTs are at least 0.5°C above average for five overlapping three-month periods. La Niña is defined the same way, except that SSTs are below rather than above average. The bottom axis shows abbreviations for three-month intervals (e.g., JJA is June-July-August). Image credit: International Research Institute for Climate and Society.


The classic, but not guaranteed, hand-off from El Niño to La Niña
Our physical understanding of ENSO suggests that the models calling for La Niña may indeed be on the right track. Veteran researcher Anthony Barnston (International Research Institute for Climate and Society, or IRI) lays out the science behind the “delayed oscillator theory” in an easy-to-digest ENSO Blog entry from last January. In a nutshell, strong El Niño events trigger two competing forces: eastward-moving features called oceanic Kelvin waves, which straddle the equatorial Pacific, and westward-moving Rossby waves, located on either side of the equator. Passing each other like ships in the night, the Kelvin waves reinforce El Niño, while the Rossby waves head toward Indonesia and then bounce back eastward. At that point, months after their creation, they can lead to subsurface cooling that eventually shifts the system from El Niño toward La Niña.

One might expect that the stronger the El Niño, the stronger the Rossby waves that help lead to its demise. Indeed, Barnston shows that during the NOAA-favored period of most reliable records (1950 to today), stronger El Niño events tend to correlate with cooler SSTs a year later. The strongest events in this NOAA dataset are the “super” El Niño events of 1997-98 and 1982-83, along with a close runner-up, 1972-73. All three were followed by La Niña conditions a year later. (The cooling in 1983-84 was too brief to qualify as a La Niña event, but it was followed by a bona fide La Niña in 1984-85.) Out of the ten moderate or stronger El Niños analyzed by Barnston, six were followed by La Niña conditions a year later—but two were followed by neutrality, and the other two saw a redevelopment of weak to moderate El Niño conditions.


Figure 5. Scatterplot showing the relationship in ENSO states from one year to the next, for every year since 1950 in which an El Niño occurred. Each dot represents a pair of “year 1 vs. year 2” ENSO states. In general, the stronger the El Niño (higher values on the x-axis), the stronger the subsequent La Niña (lower values on the y-axis). The ENSO states here are drawn from Niño3.4 SSTs (the Oceanic Niño Index) for the six overlapping three-month periods from August-October to January-March. Data are not completely in for 2015-16, but this future dot should end up close to 2.0°C on the x axis, which implies that La Niña is historically likely in 2016-17. For more details and a larger version of the graphic, see the associated ENSO Blog post by Anthony Barnston published on Jan. 28, 2016. Image credit: NOAA, courtesy Anthony Barnston.


Forward into the past
WU member Eric Webb (North Carolina State University, @webberweather) has been digging even further back into El Niño history. Over the last few months, Webb has been refining his own Ensemble Oceanic NINO Index, a product that draws on 26 long-term datasets and analyses created by institutions around the world. Stretching back to 1865, Webb’s index identifies “super” El Niños in 1877-78 and 1888-89 as well as 1972-73 (deemed “super” in Webb’s index), 1982-83, and 1997-98. One motivation behind incorporating multiple datasets is to help alleviate some of the issues with older data that have led NOAA/CPC to focus on the post-1950 period in its own analyses, including the historical ENSO dataset shown in Figure 3. Webb has also been working on a confidence index that assesses how well five leading ENSO definitions agree from period to period.

With the help of Webb’s index, the argument for La Niña in 2016-17 gets even stronger. All five of Webb’s “super” events were followed by La Niña events that lasted two to three years. Yet none of the eight strong El Niño events that fell below the “super” threshold (1896-97, 1902-03, 1965-66, 1991-92, 1957-58, 1940-41, 1987-88, and 1930-31) produced multiyear La Niña events. “In fact, many weren't even followed by a La Nina in the subsequent year,” Webb told me. “This is a very intriguing statistic, and it likely highlights the role for properly initializing ENSO intensity with respect to forecasting its behavior beyond the spring predictability barrier, much less a year or two in advance. This also provides a potential future avenue of research for assessing its behavior in specific ENSO scenarios.”

Although Webb’s work has yet to be peer-reviewed, it points in the same direction as other research: a powerful tendency for big La Niñas to follow big El Niños. “Eric’s statement sounds quite reasonable to me,” said IRI’s Barnston. “I don’t think any expert could disagree with it. Given the inherent limit of predictability, there may not be very good low-hanging fruit, but it doesn’t hurt to keep trying.”

The case for El Niño
“A transition to La Niña is not a done deal,” according to Klaus Wolter (NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory). Wolter and colleague Michael Timlin (Midwestern Regional Climate Center) developed the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI), which employs both oceanic and atmospheric variables and goes back to 1871, providing yet another perspective. In a 2011 paper, Wolter and Timlin found a close relationship between the strength and longevity of La Niña events. The picture gets a bit more complex for El Niño: “super” events typically last 12 to 18 months, while other strong events have actually persisted for more than two years. “I find it interesting that 1930-31, 40-41, and 1991-92 [all strong El Niño years] were followed by long-lived El Niño conditions,” Wolter said in an email.

One more wrinkle to consider is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. As we discussed early last year, El Niño events become more likely when the PDO is in its positive mode, which was the case in the 1980s and 1990s. Now that the PDO has been consistently positive for more than two years, we may have entered a longer-term positive mode, which would favor El Niño more often than La Niña.

The upshot: While current observations show El Niño decaying, and the strength of the 2015-16 event argues for a good chance of La Niña in 2016-17 (conceivably lasting more than a year), it’s still a bit too soon to entirely rule out a repeat visit from El Niño later this year.


Figure 6. The Atlantic hurricane seasons that followed the two most recent “super” El Niño events (1982-83 and 1997-98) are a study in contrasts. The 1983 season (left) was the quietest post-1970 Atlantic season on record in terms of accumulated cyclone energy, with only 4 named storms and 3 hurricanes. The 1998 season (right) produced 14 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and more than $3 billion in damage, as well as the catastrophic Hurricane Mitch, which killed more than 10,000 people as it decayed over Central America.

Implications for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season
It’s well established that El Niño years tend to suppress tropical cyclone action in the North Atlantic, due to increased upper-level wind shear and other factors, while La Niña tends to favor above-average activity in the North Atlantic. Timing makes a big difference: if a transition to La Niña happens late in the year, it’s less likely to influence the Atlantic hurricane season. The forecast team at Colorado State University led by Phil Klotzbach and William Gray will issue their first outlook for the 2016 Atlantic season on April 14. Klotzbach stresses another key factor now in play alongside El Niño and La Niña--the recent apparent switch toward a cool mode of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), which we’ll be discussing in a future post. Here’s what Klotzbach had to say when I asked him about the AMO and other factors leading into the 2016 season:

“The far North Atlantic has been quite cold for about three years now. This cold anomaly especially stands out at present, given how warm the remainder of the globe is due in part to the strong El Niño. When the far North Atlantic is cold, it tends to force wind and pressure patterns that then cool the tropical Atlantic. We've seen a significant cooling of the eastern subtropical Atlantic in recent weeks [see Figure 7 below], and there is the potential that these cold anomalies could propagate into the tropical Atlantic for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. If this occurs, there is the potential that the hurricane season may not be particularly active.”

We’ll be back with our next post on Monday. In the meantime, have a great weekend, everyone!

Bob Henson


Figure 7. Trend in sea-surface temperatures across the eastern tropical Atlantic for early March 2016 as compared to January 2016. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL/PSD, courtesy Phil Klotzbach.


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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326. TracySaunders
1:13 PM GMT on March 29, 2016
Okay, question in light of this blog...

With these La Nina events coming, what does that mean for California and it's drought? We've had some rain in Norcal this year, but could a La Nina (being cold and wet) bring us out? Or are these years typically cold and dry for CA? Please pardon my ignorance here.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
325. walkshills
3:44 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Re: 311 comment viz. sugar subsidies

If I remember correctly, Cuba had a major sugar industry. When the revolution occurred in '59, that fell victim to the on-going blockade. If that trade is restored, then sugar prices will have to re-balance. For those that live in the Florida areas subject to the sugar production and its byproducts, there could be some reprieve. Functionally, this will be a political hot issue, with the money and power of the sugar industry trying to hold on to what it has. On the ground in Florida, the key water issues may undercut any grass roots support for the present corrupt system.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
324. georgevandenberghe
3:34 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 320. Dakster:



Those previous pictures you posted, you had more ice on the ground than I do up in mine in Alaska. It's 'raining' right now and supposed to rain until Tuesday night. Although what they call rain up here is more like a steady drizzle in Florida. Even with the little bit of wind that is coming with it.


I would have commented about the difference between winter and summer rain intensities here in DC until THIS winter when we got summer level PWATS in warm air masses and very intense showers and low topped thunderstorms sufficient to produce flash flooding within a half hour with rain rates at August intensities.
It happened in December and AGAIN in February.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
323. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
3:30 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
322. georgevandenberghe
3:28 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 319. Dakster:



What about septic systems on the barrier islands?


I can't imagine any reasonable building code allowing them but maybe I'm naive.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
321. Gearsts
3:22 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
320. Dakster
3:20 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 305. StormTrackerScott:



I had 2 severe storms split and move north while the other moved south. Still got rain but avoided the heavy hail and extreme winds. Friend over in Sorrento said hail was about 1" in diameter and lasted for 10 to 15 minutes. Sorrento is just 8 to 10 miles NW of me.


Those previous pictures you posted, you had more ice on the ground than I do up in mine in Alaska. It's 'raining' right now and supposed to rain until Tuesday night. Although what they call rain up here is more like a steady drizzle in Florida. Even with the little bit of wind that is coming with it.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
319. Dakster
3:13 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 289. islander101010:

barrier island floridians. runoff from the yards is killing our ecosystem. that not only includes the chemicals you put on the grass but also by not picking up and disposing the pets feces. lets face it too many green lawns.



What about septic systems on the barrier islands?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
318. Gearsts
3:10 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
A strong La nina can have negative effects on TC activity over the Atlantic?

Con el fenómeno de La Niña, mientras, se registran temperaturas más bajas en el mar y cambia la dirección del viento en las capas superiores hacia el este. Esto puede provocar que se generan más tormentas y huracanes aunque una versión muy fuerte de La Niña tiene el potencial de evitar el desarrollo de ciclones.Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
317. Patrap
3:08 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
The CO2ppm in the atmosphere rising.

It affects all weather, as we exist in a warmer,wetter climate overall.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
316. ackee
3:06 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
What kind of pattern do u think will influence the hurricane season

A ENSO
B La Nina
C El Nino
D Neutral conditions
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
315. Gearsts
3:02 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
314. HurricaneFan
3:01 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Several La Nina, Cold AMO seasons were fairly active in the Atlantic, like 1984, 1985, and 1988. The AMO doesn't influence Western Atlantic/GOM activity as much so I'm still thinking we'll see some landfalling hurricanes next year.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
313. ackee
3:00 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Officially do we still have a EL Nino or ENSOR now base on SST reading
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
312. RobertWC
2:57 PM GMT on March 28, 2016

North Atlantic freshening from land ice melt, cold blob, stronger storms
Jason Box

Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
311. georgevandenberghe
2:56 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 263. cytochromeC:



Sugar is Wingnut Welfare.
It could not survive without subsidies.


Not in the U.S. true. Other much lower cost producers could compensate reducing U.S. food costs significantly (though it should be noted they already the cheapest in the developed world). Yeah it is gross corporate welfare.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
310. georgevandenberghe
2:53 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 267. Andrebrooks:

Right buddy. What do you think about the possible Bonnie next week my friend.


She lies over the ocean.

Next question.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
309. Gearsts
2:35 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
The latest weekly SST
departures are:
Niño 4 1.2ºC
Niño 3.4 1.5ºC
Niño 3 1.4ºC
Niño 1+2 0.9ºC
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
308. Cyclone2016
2:35 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Bye Bye El Ninoooo! *sung like bye bye birdie*

Hola La Nina!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
307. HurricaneFan
2:28 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
El Nino is down to +1.5C now in 3.4 region, after a peak of +3.1C... I'm thinking ENSO neutral by early June, with La Nina by August...if this Nino continues to collapse the La Nina may be stronger. ENSO neutral by June should guarantee us at least a near-average hurricane season.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
306. SLU
2:14 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Levi Cowan ‏@TropicalTidbits · 28m28 minutes ago

Interesting. CFS 00Z vs. 06Z forecast at 24 hours. Both still have the cold anomaly. Was supposed to be fixed at 6Z.


Joe Bastardi ‏@BigJoeBastardi · 3h3 hours ago  Pennsylvania, USA

My question is how the heck could this possible [sic] be going on as nothing like it on other climate models



Maybe feeding erroneous data into the models to fit in with the overall paradigm can result in garbage out.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
305. StormTrackerScott
1:57 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 298. Bucsboltsfan:



That video of the storm is just insane. I've lived in Pinellas County for 50 years and have never seen that severe of a thunderstorm.


I had 2 severe storms split and move north while the other moved south. Still got rain but avoided the heavy hail and extreme winds. Friend over in Sorrento said hail was about 1" in diameter and lasted for 10 to 15 minutes. Sorrento is just 8 to 10 miles NW of me.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
304. CaneFreeCR
1:57 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 300. Skyepony:



To shut these canals down would submerse my place as well as many, many others. This all coincided with that shut down of Wickham Rd. They added that other drainage pipe they have been planning to under the road. They opened up the retention pond all that went through before going back into Hopkins (aka Eau Gallie River). The last big bloom the canal dredgers accidentally compromised the dike holding back that pond that filtered that water, releasing everything including alot of trash to the River. Locals that live along it are blaming this bloom and fish kill on it again. They have been dredging the Eau Gallie river while they completed the Apollo Rd extension and the added the large culvert under Wickham. That final removal of that retention/sess/filter pond was timed to that bloom. It certainly looks nicer now but should let all that flow even quicker to the Indian River with little to no filter.

FIT did a study. They modeled several options, the best looked to be adding many small drainage culverts across the barrier island in many locations. Since they don't extend to the bottom of the river less muck gets disturbed and moved around while water exchanges more freely with the ocean.

The fisherman say there will be no clams this year..
It sounds like a lot of the problem is the loss of gradient (there never was much) between the waterways and the ocean, due to sea level rise. One possible solution would be to automate the gates of the drainage system to open as the tide goes out and close as the tide comes in. This would restore a gradient and allow the flow to both drain the stored water and flush the channels out to sea where the pollutants would be diluted and only damage the coral reefs.
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303. RobertWC
1:48 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
The Wall Street Journal, Climate Change Denial and the Galileo Gambit

Michael Mann

Fossil fuel companies have been misleading the public and policymakers about the risks of their products for decades. These corporations should obviously be held accountable.

It’s odd that we aren’t able to discuss this straightforwardly. After all, accountability is common for other industries. When companies mislead the public about the health effects of the drugs they market, for instance, we hold them accountable.


Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
302. ricderr
1:45 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 301. Skyepony:


ESPI plunged from 1.60s to 0.98 in the last week or 10 days. So the drop should continue farther and maybe even a little faster. It still doesn't seem to be dropping as fast as some here hoped. I still doubt we see neutral conditions by 4/15.


i haven't read anyone say neutral by 4/15...must have missed it...but i still think we'll see some la nina values in june....nothing scientific however
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
301. Skyepony (Mod)
1:41 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 299. ricderr:

weekly reading of nino 3.4 is now at 1.5C....dropping faster than it did in the 97/98 event

ESPI plunged from 1.60s to 0.98 in the last week or 10 days. So the drop should continue farther and maybe even a little faster. It still doesn't seem to be dropping as fast as some here hoped. I still doubt we see neutral conditions by 4/15.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
300. Skyepony (Mod)
1:30 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 265. guygee:

A possible solution is to shut-down all of the canals and storm-water drainage into the inter-coastal waters, maybe pumping it deep into the ground or far out to sea, or retain more of it inland to naturally percolate into the water table. Reducing use of fertilizer and pesticides would be a great help. Perhaps opening up more outlets to the ocean as well. The details would require a great deal of research first so as to not repeat the mistakes of the past. That would be a start, but instead we get denial and inaction. It is a crime both against nature and the people of Florida.


To shut these canals down would submerse my place as well as many, many others. This all coincided with that shut down of Wickham Rd. They added that other drainage pipe they have been planning to under the road. They opened up the retention pond all that went through before going back into Hopkins (aka Eau Gallie River). The last big bloom the canal dredgers accidentally compromised the dike holding back that pond that filtered that water, releasing everything including alot of trash to the River. Locals that live along it are blaming this bloom and fish kill on it again. They have been dredging the Eau Gallie river while they completed the Apollo Rd extension and the added the large culvert under Wickham. That final removal of that retention/sess/filter pond was timed to that bloom. It certainly looks nicer now but should let all that flow even quicker to the Indian River with little to no filter.

FIT did a study. They modeled several options, the best looked to be adding many small drainage culverts across the barrier island in many locations. Since they don't extend to the bottom of the river less muck gets disturbed and moved around while water exchanges more freely with the ocean.

The fisherman say there will be no clams this year..
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
299. ricderr
1:17 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
weekly reading of nino 3.4 is now at 1.5C....dropping faster than it did in the 97/98 event
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
297. olivojoe
12:49 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 265. guygee:

No disagreement here. Under-educated voters ...people who do not care enough to vote. Obscenely gerrymandered districts that keep the super-majority party in place.
Obsession with lush non-native grass lawns maintained with massive amounts of fertilizer and pesticide, combined with poor civil engineering that channels the run-off into the inter-coastal waters. Sell-out to big agriculture and developers.

If we could return the Indian River Lagoon and the Banana River Lagoon to their pristine state it would be a boost to small-business fisherman and tourism. The area was once famous for blue crab and clams, which helped the local restaurants. No one wants to swim, boat or eat food from a cesspool.

There is a process we might call "Lake Apopka Syndrome", where agricultural run-off combined with industrial poisons created huge algae blooms that resulted in a poisonous sludgy muck bottom. Since the lake is shallow, this poison is continually stirred to the surface ...even if the sources of pollution are shut-off, recovery could take decades or centuries. I fear some areas of the inter-coastal waters are undergoing the same process.

A possible solution is to shut-down all of the canals and storm-water drainage into the inter-coastal waters, maybe pumping it deep into the ground or far out to sea, or retain more of it inland to naturally percolate into the water table. Reducing use of fertilizer and pesticides would be a great help. Perhaps opening up more outlets to the ocean as well. The details would require a great deal of research first so as to not repeat the mistakes of the past. That would be a start, but instead we get denial and inaction. It is a crime both against nature and the people of Florida.



Another issue that I heard mentioned on the radio on the way into work the other day was the issue of the locks on the river being closed. These are in place to keep the flow rates down in certain areas so that areas like Port Canaveral do not get too much sediment buildup, increasing costs for the constant need of dredging to keep the channels clear.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
296. RobertWC
12:48 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Climate Change: Greenland Melting Tied to Shrinking Arctic Sea Ice

“Blocking-high” pressure systems spawn most of the warming that melts Greenland surface ice, study says

Vanishing Arctic sea ice. Dogged weather systems over Greenland. Far-flung surface ice melting on the massive island.

These dramatic trends and global sea-level rise are linked, according to a study coauthored by Jennifer Francis, a research professor in Rutgers University’s Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences.


Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
295. hydrus
12:46 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 284. oldnewmex:


An eruption of dog saliva... gruesome. Everytime I clean that stuff off the kitchen floor, I joke with my wife that if I had a time machine, I would travel back in time and hunt down that Pavlov person.

Ours sling drool as well...I cannot imagine life without them tho...and at 200 lbs, the drool can be plentiful.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
294. StormTrackerScott
12:38 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
It was something watching the NWS here in Melbourne issuing advisories regarding Hail drifts. LOL!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
293. StormTrackerScott
12:37 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 291. MahFL:



We got 0.6 inch in Orange Park, at one point the forecast was for a possible 4 inches, but that busted.


Convection here down in E C FL has been the result of daytime heating. Very much like a Summer pattern here thru the end of the week and into the weekend.

Temps tomorrow across the Orlando area @ 500mb is expected to be between -13C and -15C so tomorrow could be bad around here once surface temps get up into the upper 80's.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
292. RobertWC
12:26 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
“The three-month-long summer is barely weeks away but water availability in India’s 91 reservoirs is at its lowest in a decade, with stocks at a paltry 29% of their total storage capacity, according to the Central Water Commission. Some 85% of the country’s drinking water comes from aquifers, but their levels are falling, according to WaterAid.”

We are being told that water levels in the Ganges have declined by a fourth. Being located on the banks of one of the world’s largest rivers, we never thought we would face a scarcity of water. The unthinkable is happening.”


Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
291. MahFL
12:21 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 287. StormTrackerScott:

Picked up 1.99" since last Thursday however many areas around me have seen much more infact 9.54" in Kissimmee and over 4" in Orlando.


We got 0.6 inch in Orange Park, at one point the forecast was for a possible 4 inches, but that busted.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
290. MahFL
12:19 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
2 hours and 33 mins for a comment, I sure miss the old chat.....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
289. islander101010
12:18 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
barrier island floridians. runoff from the yards is killing our ecosystem. that not only includes the chemicals you put on the grass but also by not picking up and disposing the pets feces. lets face it too many green lawns.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
288. RobertWC
12:18 PM GMT on March 28, 2016
It's getting worse -

Professor Terry Hughes, a coral reef expert based at James Cook University in Townsville who led the survey team, said the situation is now critical.

“This will change the Great Barrier Reef forever,” Professor Hughes told 7.30.

“We’re seeing huge levels of bleaching in the northern thousand-kilometre stretch of the Great Barrier Reef.”


95 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef’s northern reefs rated as severely bleached
Only 4 out of 520 reefs surveyed were found to be unaffected by bleaching
Third global coral bleaching event since 1998
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
287. StormTrackerScott
11:53 AM GMT on March 28, 2016
Picked up 1.99" since last Thursday however many areas around me have seen much more infact 9.54" in Kissimmee and over 4" in Orlando. Also the storms that moved thru Orlando Saturday was very intense infact there were hail drifts of over 1 FOOT in Kissimmee.



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
286. barbamz
9:15 AM GMT on March 28, 2016
Storm Katie 2016: Flights cancelled amid 105mph winds
Blustery end to Easter weekend as dozens of flights cancelled or diverted in strong winds that bring down crane and cause hazardous driving conditions
The Telegraph, Monday 28 March 2016
Storm Katie has battered southern Britain, with winds of up to 105mph forcing dozens of flights to be cancelled or diverted and major bridges shut.
The Met Office issued an amber weather warning for strong gusts for London and the south east, with a yellow alert for the east and south-west of England and south Wales.
It ensured the Easter Bank Holiday weekend came to a blustery end, with gusts of more than 70mph for many areas combined with torrential rain, and thousands of families left without power. ...


Forecast from Estofex for today:
A level 1 was issued for N France, Belgium, Luxemburg and western/central Germany mainly for chances of isolated tornadoes and severe wind gusts.
Details see link above.


Windstorm Katie/Jeanne. Pressure at 972mb off the east coast of England.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
285. LargoFl
7:45 AM GMT on March 28, 2016
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
284. oldnewmex
6:35 AM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 277. Dakster:

Apparently we had a Volcano erupt too. Pavlov.

Wonder if dogs salavated when it erupted...

An eruption of dog saliva... gruesome. Everytime I clean that stuff off the kitchen floor, I joke with my wife that if I had a time machine, I would travel back in time and hunt down that Pavlov person.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
283. Dakster
5:47 AM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 280. PedleyCA:


Just keeps getting better. At least no Tropical Cyclones there...lol



That is one positive.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
281. swflurker
5:34 AM GMT on March 28, 2016
Your theory was debunked last night. Move onto something new please. Thanks.

Quoting 255. cajunkid:

Think for a minute about the cost per acre to grow sugar cane. To make a profit, the amount of fertilizer and herbicide applied by producers is not more than the plant can uptake or required. They are not in the business of throwing "expensive" chemicals away.

Now, look at every nice St. Augustine yard and how much is wasted (unregulated) to make your little piece of paradise green. We all do it. Neighborhood retention ponds run into streams.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
280. PedleyCA
5:33 AM GMT on March 28, 2016

Quoting 277. Dakster:

Apparently we had a Volcano erupt too. Pavlov.

Wonder if dogs salavated when it erupted...
Just keeps getting better. At least no Tropical Cyclones there...lol
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
279. PedleyCA
5:30 AM GMT on March 28, 2016
  1. 4.0 26km SSE of Knik-Fairview, Alaska 2016-03-28 04:18:58 UTC 21.3 km
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
278. swflurker
5:27 AM GMT on March 28, 2016
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Quoting 262. washingtonian115:


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
277. Dakster
4:46 AM GMT on March 28, 2016
Apparently we had a Volcano erupt too. Pavlov.

Wonder if dogs salavated when it erupted...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
276. Tazmanian
4:45 AM GMT on March 28, 2016
Quoting 271. Dakster:

Earthquake!!!!



Run for the hills oh wait it's only a UFO
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather