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Archive for the ‘La Niña’ Category

Global Floods Update – Australia

Posted by feww on January 14, 2011

Mega Floods Wreaking Havoc Across the Planet


Australia 24-hr Rainfall Map – Source: BOM

Australia Flood Map – Source: BOM

Source: Image from Japan Meteorological Agency satellite MTSAT-1R via Bureau of Meteorology.  Click image to enlarge.


Torrential rain and floods sweep Victoria

Victoria Flood Map. Source: BOM

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology – Victoria

Flood Summary Issued at 3:42 pm EDT on Friday 14 January 2011.

The following Watches/Warnings are current:

  • Major Flood Warning for the Avoca River
  • Major Flood Warning for the Loddon River
  • Major Flood Warning for the Wimmera River
  • Major Flood Warning for the Lerderderg River
  • Major Flood Warning for the Campaspe River Downstream of Lake Eppalock.

[For a list of moderate and minor flood warnings click here!]

Flood Warnings, Flood Watches, River Height and Rainfall information are available on the Bureau of Meteorology web site at Flood Warnings and Flood Watches for Victorian Catchments are available on: Telephone Weather Service No. 1300 659217.


  • About three-quarters of Australian state of Queensland have been affected by flooding since late 2010.
  • At least 70 cities, towns and communities have been inundated by floodwaters.
  • At least 26 people have been killed, as of posting, with up to 70 others still missing.
  • In the state capital Brisbane, Australia’s 3rd largest city, some 30,000 homes and business were inundate in the past 48 hours, the city mayor has said.


Australian Bureau of Meteorology Has issued the following statement:

The recent heavy rain over SE QLD has caused flooding in northern NSW, especially along rivers with headwaters in the NSW Northern Tablelands. The coastal flowing Clarence River and westerly flowing Macintyre River experienced major flooding.

Flood levels on the faster flowing coastal rivers are now falling, but flood levels are still rising along the western rivers with many communities affected. There is currently major flooding at Boggabilla on the Macintyre River that will effect downstream locations throughout January into February. The main flood waters are expected to reach the Barwon River by late January.

In addition, floodwaters from the earlier rainfall in Queensland and NSW are also slowly moving down the Culgoa River, causing major flooding, and will prolong major flooding conditions in the Darling River at Bourke, and downstream, throughout January and into February.

La Niña Enhancing Australia Floods: NASA

“Although exacerbated by precipitation from a tropical cyclone, rainfalls of historic proportion in eastern Queensland, Australia have led to levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century,” said David Adamec, oceanographer at NASA’s GSFC.

“The copious rainfall is a direct result of La Nina’s effect on the Pacific trade winds and has made tropical Australia particularly rainy this year.”

“The solid record of La Nina strength only goes back about 50 years and this latest event appears to be one of the strongest ones over this time period,” said climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA’s JPL in California.

“This La Niña has strengthened for the past seven months, and is one of the most intense events of the past half century.”

“It is already impacting weather and climate all around the planet,” he added.

La Niña on Dec. 29, 2010

The La Niña is highlighted by the large pool of blue and purple (cooler than normal) water stretching from the eastern to the central Pacific Ocean, reflecting lower than normal sea surface heights.  Click images to enlarge.

Original Caption: The current state of this season’s La Nina is shown in this Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite image of the Pacific Ocean, based on the average of 10 days of data centered on Dec. 26, 2010. The new image depicts places where the Pacific sea-surface height is higher (warmer) than normal as yellow and red, while places where the sea surface is lower (cooler) than normal are shown in blue and purple. Green indicates near-normal conditions. Sea-surface height is an indicator of how much of the sun’s heat is stored in the upper ocean. The La Nina cool waters stretch from the eastern to the central Pacific Ocean. Image credit: NASA JPL Ocean Surface Topography Team.

“War Zone” in the War Against Nature

Interestingly, the flood devastation in Queensland [as well as in NSW and Victoria] has been described as a “war zone” by both the Australian PM and Queensland premier, with the haunting task of recovery compared to “post-war” efforts.

Uncharacteristically, their portrayals of the ongoing catastrophes are true and accurate. Australians have long waged a three-pronged war against nature by way of their

  • Coal exports
  • Tourism Industry
  • Intensive Industrial Farming

Australians are also among world’s top CO2 polluters.

It’s no wonder then their war against nature is being lost one battle after another, as back-to-back disasters continue to plague the country.

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Posted in La Niña, La Niña condition, TROPICAL CYCLONE Warning, Victoria Flood Map, Victoria flooding | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Humongous Wind Storm Wreaks Havoc in the Midwest

Posted by feww on October 27, 2010

Massive Storm System Causes Substantial Damage in Parts of the U.S.

A massive wind storm, extending more than 2,000km (1,200 miles) north to south, pummeled the Midwest Tuesday, spawning tornadoes, causing widespread damage, and disrupting air travel throughout the region. Some 31 states were impacted by the storm system.

Click Image to enlarge. (24-Hr FE ED). Click HERE to Animate Image. (Source: SSEC/Wisc-Uni)

IR satellite image of the massive storm system heading north to Canada Tuesday after causing widespread damage in the midwest.Source: NOAA.

The system set a record low barometric pressure of 955.2mb in Minnesota, or the equivalent of cat. 3 hurricane [on land.]  The storm caused significant damage to buildings in Lincoln County, N.C., Racine, Wisconsin and Peotone, Illinois. Some structural damage in St. Louis, Missouri, were also reported.
At least 11 people were injured after a tornado swept through Lincoln County, N.C. causing extensive damage to homes and vehicles, reports say.

Click image to update.


Tornado watches extended from western New York through Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, as well for southern Ontario, Canada. At least 21 tornadoes were reported by Tuesday evening.

National Weather Service Warnings, Watches and Advisories

Click image to enter NOAA portal.

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La Niña Strengthening

Posted by feww on September 19, 2010

La Niña Conditions Continue to Strengthen Across the Equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Above map shows a 10-day average of sea-surface height and was acquired by the Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 satellite on September 6, 2010. Higher water surface areas signifying warmer temperatures are shades of red-brown, and areas of lower water surface (cooler) are blue. White areas are normal condition.  “The El Niño weakens the westward trade winds that normally blow over the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Those winds keep eastern Pacific waters cool and concentrate warm waters in the western Pacific. A weakening of trade winds enables warm waters to gradually spread eastward, heating up the central Pacific. La Niña typically follows El Niño, and causes essentially the opposite conditions. La Niña strengthens the trade winds, spreading cool water from the South American coast to the central Pacific. This see-saw pattern of El Niño and La Niña can drive large-scale weather changes, especially in the tropics.” Full caption here… Source: NASA E/O. Click image to enlarge. Download large image (1 MB, PNG).

Sea Surface Temperatures

50 KM Global Analysis – updated weekly.

Current Conditions


Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomalies During El Niño

Current SST Anomalies
Above image shows SST Anomalies during the 2009 El
Niño episode, saved on July 27, 2009 and included for comparison.

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Posted in El Niño, El Niño conditions, El Niño episode, El Niño impact, La Niña, La Niña episode | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

World Sizzling in Hottest Year to Date

Posted by feww on July 16, 2010

Specter of Global Drought Disasters Looming

Global Food Shortages Would Follow

The Planet Can Survive Higher Temperatures; YOU Can’t!

The first six months of 2010 has been the warmest on record so far. The average global temperatures for the first half of the year were 0.03 degree Fahrenheit higher than the previous record set in 1998, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

The El Nino weather pattern was the major driver for the hot temperatures globally, climate scientists say.

“We had an El Nino episode in the early part of the year that’s now faded but that has contributed to the warmth not only in equatorial Pacific but also contributed to anomalously warm global temperatures as well,” said Jay Lawrimore, chief of climate analysis at the National Climatic Data Center.

Although La Nina could bring in cooler temperatures globally later this year, 2010 could still prove to be the hottest year overall since the records began, overtaking 2005 the previous record holder.

“This year the fact that the El Nino episode has ended and is likely to transition into La Nina, which has a cooling influence on the global average temperature, it’s possible that we will not end up with the warmest year as a whole.” Lawrimore said.

Global View

  • The Arctic sea, the ice melted to its thinnest level in June.
  • Britain has seen it driest year in 80 years.
  • Parts of Middle East are  undergoing the most severe drought since records began.
  • Northern Thailand is experiencing the worst drought in living memory.
  • The U.S.: “It’s going to be pretty warm across eastern Nebraska, Iowa, western portions of Missouri, mid to upper 90s (F),” said Donald Keeney, senior agriculture meteorologist with CROPCAST Ag Services.
  • Large temperatures anomalies in most parts of  Africa, Canada and tropical oceans have been registered, a report said.

Land Surface Temperatures, Early July 2010

Global map shows temperature anomalies for July 4–11, 2010, compared to temperatures for the same dates from 2000 to 2008. The anomalies are based on land surface temperatures observed by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite. Areas with above-average temperatures appear in red and orange, and areas with below-average temperatures appear in shades of blue. Oceans, lakes, and areas with insufficient data (usually because of persistent clouds) appear in gray. Source of Image and caption (edited) NASA E/O. Click image to enlarge. Download large image (3 MB, PNG)

Note from original caption: Because this image shows temperature anomalies rather than absolute temperatures, not all red areas are warmer than all blue areas. Red-hued northern Canada, for instance, is not warmer than blue-hued northern Mexico. Although deep red tones predominate along the mid-Atlantic coast, absolute temperatures are probably warmer in the barely orange American Southwest. Unusually warm conditions predominate in South America, but the Southern Hemisphere is in winter.”

News Links:

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Posted in climate change fallout, El Niño, Global Food Shortages, Global Temperature, La Niña, Land Surface Temperatures | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

El Niño Update # 1

Posted by feww on July 14, 2009

For all other El Niño Updates, advisories and information visit El Niño

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions –
Update prepared by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP — 13 July 2009


  • El Niño conditions are present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Positive sea surface temperature (SST) departures continue to increase across much of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Current observations and dynamical model forecasts indicate ElNiño conditions will continue to develop and are expected to last through Northern Hemisphere Winter 2009-10.

sst outlook 12 july 2009

See also: CFS Forecast of Seasonal Climate Anomalies for Apr 2009 to Dec 2009

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El Niño conditions is in progress —NOAA

Posted by feww on July 10, 2009

ENSO Cycle Report by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP  July 6, 2009

A transition from ENSO-neutral to El Niño conditions is currently in progress.

  • A transition from ENSO-neutral to El Niño conditions is occurring in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

  • Positive SST departures are increasing across much of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

  • Observations and dynamical model forecasts currently indicate a transition from ENSO-neutral to El Niño conditions is in progress.

NOAA Operational Definitions for El Niño and La Niña

  • El Niño:characterized by a positive ONI greater than or equal to +0.5°C.

  • La Niña:characterized by a negative ONI less than or equal to -0.5°C.

By historical standards, to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode, these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons.

CPC considers El Niño or La Niña conditionsto occur when the monthly Niño3.4 SST departures meet or exceed +/-0.5°C along with consistent atmospheric features. These anomalies must also be forecast to persist for 3 consecutive months.

Oceanic Niño Index (ONI)

  • The ONI is based on SST departures from average in the Niño 3.4 region, and is a principal measure for monitoring, assessing, and predicting ENSO.

  • Defined as the three-month running-mean SST departures in the Niño 3.4 region. Departures are based on a set of improved homogeneous historical SST analysis (Extended Reconstructed SST –ERSST.v3b). The SST reconstruction methodology is described in Smith et al., 2008, J. Climate, vol. 21, 2283-2296.)

  • Used to place current events into a historical perspective

  • NOAA’s operational definitions of El Niño and La Niña are keyed to the ONI index.

SST Departures (°C) in the Tropical Pacific During the Last 4 Weeks

sst anomalies 7jun-4jul 2009

During the last 4-weeks, equatorial SSTs were at least +0.5°C above-average across the equatorial Pacific Ocean and at least +1.0°C in most of the eastern Pacific.

Global SST Departures (°C)

avg SST anom 7jun-4jul 09
During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. North Atlantic SSTs were below average in both the tropics and portions of the high latitudes. Positive SST anomalies now extend along the west coast of North America into the Gulf of Alaska.

weekly SST Departures

Central & Eastern Pacific Upper-Ocean (0-300 m) Weekly Heat Content AnomaliesThe

Cent and Eastern Pacific Upper-Ocean  Weekly Heat Content Anoms
The upper ocean heat content was below-average across the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean between mid-August 2008 and March 2009, with a minimum reached in late December 2008. The heat content anomalies have been positive since April, and have steadily increased since that time.

Information on this page is mirrored from ENSO Cycle Report by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP  July6, 2009, with some editing by FEWW.

NOAA Press Release:

El Niño Arrives; Expected to Persist through Winter 2009-10

July 9, 2009

NOAA scientists today announced the arrival of El Niño, a climate phenomenon with a significant influence on global weather, ocean conditions and marine fisheries. El Niño, the periodic warming of central and eastern tropical Pacific waters, occurs on average every two to five years and typically lasts about 12 months.

Sea Surface Temperatures the week of July 2009.
Sea surface temperatures along the equatorial Eastern Pacific, as of July 1, are at least one degree above average — a sign of El Niño. Animation.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA expects this El Niño to continue developing during the next several months, with further strengthening possible. The event is expected to last through winter 2009-10.

“Advanced climate science allows us to alert industries, governments and emergency managers about the weather conditions El Niño may bring so these can be factored into decision-making and ultimately protect life, property and the economy,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

El Niño’s impacts depend on a variety of factors, such as intensity and extent of ocean warming, and the time of year. Contrary to popular belief, not all effects are negative. On the positive side, El Niño can help to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity. In the United States, it typically brings beneficial winter precipitation to the arid Southwest, less wintry weather across the North, and a reduced risk of Florida wildfires.

El Niño’s negative impacts have included damaging winter storms in California and increased storminess across the southern United States. Some past El Niños have also produced severe flooding and mudslides in Central and South America, and drought in Indonesia.

An El Niño event may significantly diminish ocean productivity off the west coast by limiting weather patterns that cause upwelling, or nutrient circulation in the ocean.  These nutrients are the foundation of a vibrant marine food web and could negatively impact food sources for several types of birds, fish and marine mammals.

In its monthly El Niño diagnostics discussion today, scientists with the NOAA National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center noted weekly eastern equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures were at least 1.0 degree C above average at the end of June. The most recent El Niño occurred in 2006.

El Niño includes weaker trade winds, increased rainfall over the central tropical Pacific, and decreased rainfall in Indonesia. These vast rainfall patterns in the tropics are responsible for many of El Niño’s global effects on weather patterns.

NOAA will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation in the tropical Pacific, and will provide more detailed information on possible Atlantic hurricane impacts in its updated Seasonal Hurricane Outlook scheduled for release on August 6, 2009.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

Weekly averaged sea surface temperatures (top, °C) and anomalies (bottom, °C) for the past twelve weeks. SST analysis is the optimum interpolation (OI) analysis, while anomalies are departures from the adjusted OI climatology (Reynolds and Smith 1995, J. Climate, 8, 1571-1583). Credit: CPC/ NWC/ NOAA –

issued by  CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP —  9 July 2009 –
–  click here

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Posted in Global SST Departures, La Niña, ONI index, SST departures, Tropical Pacific | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2009 Hurricane Season

Posted by feww on May 15, 2009

2009 Hurricane Season: Storms in Teacup, or Nasty Surprises?

What would the 2009 Hurricane Season be like, if all else stayed the same?

[The Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season officially starts on June 1, and lasts through November 30.]

Here’s what Colorado State University experts, Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray believe:

The following excerpts are from:


(As of 7 April 2009) We foresee average activity for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. We have decreased our seasonal forecast from our initial early December prediction. We anticipate an average probability of United States major hurricane landfall.

Hurricane season 2009
Atlantic Basin Seasonal Hurricane Forecast for 2009 – Courtesy of Colorado State University


1) Entire U.S. coastline – 54% (average for last century is 52%)
2) U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida – 32% (average for last century is 31%)
3) Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville – 31% (average for last century is 30%)
4) Average major hurricane landfall risk in the Caribbean

CSU report says:

  • The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season will have about as much activity as the average 1950-2000 season.

Expect about:

  • 6 hurricanes (average is 5.9),
  • 12 named storms (average is 9.6),
  • 55 named storm days (average is 49.1),
  • 25 hurricane days (average is 24.5),
  • 2 intense (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.3) and
  • 5 intense hurricane days (average is 5.0).

The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 105 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2009 to be approximately 105 percent of the long-term average. We have decreased our seasonal forecast from early December.

This forecast is based on an extended-range early April statistical prediction scheme that utilizes 58 years of past data. Analog predictors are also utilized. The influence of El Niño conditions is implicit in these predictor fields, and therefore we do not utilize a specific ENSO forecast as a predictor.

We expect current weak La Niña conditions to transition to neutral and perhaps weak El Niño conditions by this year’s hurricane season. If El Niño conditions develop for this year’s hurricane season, it would tend to increase levels of vertical wind shear and decrease levels of Atlantic hurricane activity. Another reason for our forecast reduction is due to anomalous cooling of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic. Cooler waters are associated with dynamic and thermodynamic factors that are less conducive for an active Atlantic hurricane season. [From CSU]

What do others think?

Meanwhile,, a private forecaster run by Joe Bastarde, has cut its forecast for this year’s Atlantic Hurricane season to 10 from 12 it predicted in March, this year.

AccuWeather says 6 of the storms will be hurricanes this year [it predicted 8 in March,] with only 2 of them rising to category 3 or stronger on the  Saffir-Simpson scale. [See also FEWW Hurricane Scale.]

AccuWeather says only two hurricanes, one of them category 3 or stronger, will strike the U.S. coastline.

“Anywhere along the U.S. coast is susceptible to an impact, but the Texas coast early in the season and East Coast from Carolinas northward during the heart of the season are areas that have us worried,” Bastarde  said.

In another interesting statement, AccuWeather’s Bastarde predicted that intense rapidly developing  “pop-up” hurricanes may plague the Gulf of Mexico during the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane season. This prediction is bound to haunt the imagination of the oil industry, and keep the hard disks on AccuWeather servers spinning till smoke comes out.

“We’re not going to see the long-term classic storms crossing the Atlantic and the Caribbean, like we saw in 2008,” Bastarde said. “We may see rapidly-developing storms like (hurricanes) Humberto and Alicia.”

In 2008 16 named tropical storms were formed over the Atlantic Basin, which included 8 hurricanes (5 of them were rated as major).

About 50 percent of the 2008 tropical storms affected the U.S. coastline, including four hurricanes.

FEWW will revise and update its previous long-range Atlantic Basin Hurricane forecast  for the 2009 season soon.

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Posted in Average major hurricane landfall risk, El Niño, La Niña, Net Tropical Cyclone activity, U.S. major hurricane landfall | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Torrential Rains Flood Northern Australia

Posted by feww on January 22, 2009

Australia Floods caused by the wet phase of the monsoon, possibly intensified by an ongoing La Niña episode

Rainfall Totals

Earth Observatory: Image acquired December 24, 2008 – January 7, 2009

Rainfall Anomaly

Earth Observatory: Image acquired December 24, 2008 – January 7, 2009

Since late December 2008, torrential rains have caused severe flooding to parts of Queensland and Northern Territory in northern Australia. The start of the wet phase of the monsoon, possibly intensified by an ongoing La Niña episode, is thought to be the primary cause for the deluge. More from the Earth Observatory …

Posted in deluge, drought relief, Earth Observatory, La Niña, monsoon | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »