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Latest El Niño-Southern Oscillation Stories

Repeating La Niña Hitting Its Peak: NASA
2012-01-21 04:27:40

La Niña, "the diva of drought," is peaking, increasing the odds that the Pacific Northwest will have more stormy weather this winter and spring, while the southwestern and southern United States will be dry. Sea surface height data from NASA's Jason-1 and -2 satellites show that the milder repeat of last year's strong La Niña has recently intensified, as seen in the latest Jason-2 image of the Pacific Ocean shown above. The image is based on the average of...

Southern Drought Expected To Continue
2012-01-17 14:03:08

Government scientists reported this month that the Southern drought that has led to $10 billion in crop and agricultural losses in 2011 will continue for at least the next three months. The drought is forecast to worsen and expand across the western United States as well. According to the recent Drought Monitor report, drought is forecasted to develop in a solid 2,500-mile stripe across the southern tier of the USA from California to Virginia. "There are fairly good odds that the...

2012-01-16 21:14:49

Worldwide pandemics of influenza caused widespread death and illness in 1918, 1957, 1968 and 2009. A new study examining weather patterns around the time of these pandemics finds that each of them was preceded by La Niña conditions in the equatorial Pacific. The study's authors--Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Marc Lipsitch of the Harvard School of Public Health–note that the La Niña pattern is known to alter the...

2011-12-06 12:38:20

Accelerated melting of two fast-moving outlet glaciers that drain Antarctic ice into the Amundsen Sea Embayment is likely the result, in part, of an increase in sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, according to new University of Washington research. Higher-than-normal sea-level pressure north of the Amundsen Sea sets up westerly winds that push surface water away from the glaciers and allow warmer deep water to rise to the surface under the edges of the glaciers, said...

Image 1 - Stanford Biologist Students Tackle Squid Mystery In Mexican Waters
2011-11-21 10:44:37

[ Watch the Video ] While shorter days and colder weather move many of us to hunker under the covers, researchers who spent their summers in fieldwork are more likely to be hunched over microscopes and curled over keyboards, scrutinizing samples and crunching data from their summer's labors. One such researcher is marine biologist William Gilly, who spent a month last summer in Mexico's Sea of Cortez tracking the sometimes-elusive Humboldt squid. Researchers from several universities...

Image 1 - Rethinking The Ocean's Role In Pacific Climate
2011-11-16 03:29:59

The new study can aid scientists in better understanding regional and global effects of climate change in the Pacific University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science researchers have climate scientists rethinking a commonly held theory about the ocean's role in the global climate system. The new findings can aid scientists in better understanding and predicting changes in the Pacific climate and its impacts around the globe. According to the study's lead...

Image 1 - Scientists To Study Indian Ocean Oscillation For Long-Term Weather Forecasting
2011-09-23 06:05:47

  Scientists from all over the world will be gathering in the Indian Ocean starting next month to study the Madden-Julian Oscillation. This disturbance originates in the equatorial Indian Ocean every 30 to 90 days and is part of the Asian and Australian monsoons, can enhance hurricane activity in the northeast Pacific and Gulf of Mexico, trigger torrential rainfall along the west coast of North America and affect the onset of El Nino. The campaign, known as DYNAMO (Dynamics of the...

Image 1 - 50-million-year-old Clam Shells Hint At Future Of El Niño Phenomenon
2011-09-20 04:44:31

  Earth warming will presumably not lead to a permanent El Niño state in the South Pacific Ocean. This is the conclusion drawn by an international team of researchers after it investigated 50-million-year-old clam shells and wood from the Antarctic. The growth rings of these fossils indicate that there was also a climate rhythm over the South Pacific during the last prolonged interglacial phase of the Earth´s history resembling the present-day interplay of El...

2011-09-12 11:16:15

Is it possible to make valid climate predictions that go beyond weeks, months, even a year? UCLA atmospheric scientists report they have now made long-term climate forecasts that are among the best ever – predicting climate up to 16 months in advance, nearly twice the length of time previously achieved by climate scientists. Forecasts of climate are much more general than short-term weather forecasts; they do not predict precise temperatures in specific cities, but they still may...

2011-09-09 14:40:40

Scientists at the University of Miami's (UM's) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science have found an intriguing relationship between hurricane tracks and climate variability. Angela Colbert, a graduate student in Meteorology & Physical Oceanography, with the collaboration of Professor and Associate Dean for Professional Masters, Dr. Brian Soden, studied data from the Atlantic gathered between 1950-2010, unlocking some noteworthy results, which appear in the American...


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Climate Impact On Your Budget For Billings Montana
2012-12-29 12:40:14

If you live in or around Billings, Montana the above graph shows you what you can roughly expect when it comes to heating and cooling your house during the ENSO Phases. In Billings during a normal phase of the ENSO your heating degree days pass 900HDD. However, when El-Nino phase is present the monthly average dropped to around 650.5HDD, which is a pretty significant amount especially when you are talking about paying that heating bill. When the La-Nina phase sets up the heating degree...

ENSO Impacts on Baltimore Tornado Count
2012-12-29 12:12:03

ENSO has an impact on the severe weather across the United States.  As we look at the above graph we see that the area of Baltimore is impacted by ENSO and its tornado count. The stats are for the described years to the left of each bar. During a La-Nina the tornado count picks up for the region; within 50 miles of the city up to 9 tornadoes occurred during the 2000 event. The 2010 EL-Nino set into the region and the tornado count dropped to around 4 tornadoes within 50 miles of the...

Climate Impact On Your Budget For Bismarck, North Dakota
2012-09-18 13:29:03

If you live in or around Bismarck North Dakota the graph shows you what you can roughly expect when it comes to heating and cooling your house during the ENSO Phases. Bismarck North Dakota, with its northern latitude, does have an impact on what type of heating and cooling it sees. During an Normal Phase the HDD for the region hits about 1348 on average. When the region enters into an El-Nino they can expect the amount of HDD’s to decrease to around 970 which really helps cut down on the...

ENSO Effects On Ocean Waters
2012-09-14 11:46:45

The above graph highlights how the ENSO has an impact on water temps. Northern Gulf of Mexico during EL-Nino: The first part of March during this EL-Nino cycle saw water temps in the 56-60F range, while the 8-14th saw water temps warm to the 60-64F range. By the third week of March temps had maintained 60-64F. The last week of March the temps dropped back to around 56-60F. Northern Gulf of Mexico during LA-Nina: The first week of March saw water temps approach the 70-72F range, by the...

Winds Impacted By The Cycles Of ENSO
2012-09-03 16:44:02

When it comes to wind, more and more people are turning to it as alternative option for electricity. One has to wonder what kind of impacts would be created by the different cycles of ENSO. The above graph has been done for Boston MA. The month of choice was to run it for March of all three cycles. Normal Cycle: (When we are in between EL-Nino and La-Nina) winds averaged around 0-5mph 9% of the month of March. While 6-10mph average winds occurred more often with 35%. And then winds in the...

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