Strong El Nino… Now in Top 5

Kelvin wave after Kelvin wave has warmed the equatorial Pacific over the last year or so and the El Nino event underway remains quite intense. In fact, the latest kelvin wave is one of the strongest since November 2009 and this should produce an additional surge of warmth across the Pacific. Sub-surface warmth is also surging once again with 100m depth temperature anomalies now exceeding 6ºC in the El Nino region.

This El Nino has been relatively “west based” with some of the strongest anomalies across the central Pacific near the International Dateline. Enhanced convection near the Dateline is consistent with El Nino and teleconnects to a stormy east coast weather regime.

It’s been an odd winter for sure. On paper it looks like it would have been a historic winter for southern New England given the high latitude blocking and a raging southern stream jet stream (thanks to the Nino). Unfortunately, the obscene amount of high latitude blocking was our enemy and shifted the “historic” snows south into the Mid Atlantic.

Over the next 2 months spring will be slow to arrive. El Nino winters are notoriously slow to end and now that the atmosphere seems adjusted to a strong El Nino pattern I expect a wet and cool March and April. Whether some of that “wet” is “white” remains to be seen.

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