Monday, August 31, 2015

MikJournal Monday 08/31/15

Good Monday morning. I always thought that expression was an oxymoron, never anything good about a Monday morning if you have to get up and go to work after a hopefully restful weekend or long vacation. Blah.

Anyway, the last day of meteorological summer has 3 tropical systems that are churning the waters in the Pacific. And I do mean churn. Cat 3 and 4 hurricanes that appear are going to miss the Hawaiian islands, except for some breezy conditions and high surf along with some heavy rain this week.

Also, I've added another new item to the Mik's Piks part of my blog called, "Global Hazards". I invite you to use the program to help you appreciate that weather and other natural hazards are not just an American thing. What may be happening in one part of the globe may eventually affect us here in the United States.

The program highlights up to the minute hazards that include tropical systems, drought, flooding, wildfires, volcanoes, earthquakes, biomedical concerns, extreme heat, and so forth. With El Nino well underway, you can see how parts of the globe are faring, especially as we get nearer to the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere.

We can then gage how strong the El Nino may be. For example, just because the western United States may not get the unusual rainfall that the 1997/1998 El Nino produced does not mean that some part of the globe is not being affected on a historical level. We'll need to wait and see how it all plays out.

As you may have seen in one of my recent posts, I'll be paying close attention to the weather in Glasgow Montana. During the December of 1997, Glasgow did not record a temperature below zero for the entire month. That had never happened before since records were kept. The strong El Nino of '97/98 was partially to blame.

It will be difficult to tell how this El Nino will compare to that one. After all, the water temperatures off of the western United States today are much different than they were in 1997. Further, California was not undergoing a historical drought in and preceding the years 1997.

We have been locked in a similar pattern for the last few years. I expect that the Polar regions will experience a warmer than normal winter. Often, that leads to an Arctic Oscillation signal that will go negative because of the less than impressive pressure differences. The Polar Jet winds will weaken at times and, as has happened the past few winters now, the Jet will buckle and send a plume of very cold air down into the United States, you know it by now as the Polar Vortex, oh my.

Although the cold snap will be just that, not a prolonged icebox, the cold air that spills into the States may well interact with an active southern jet that may produce crippling winter storms for some. Where that sets up, nobody knows. Is a crippling storm or two a definite possibility? Not definite. Will Glasgow Montana remain above zero degrees for December? I am not counting on it. There are other 'measuring sticks' out there for determining how bad the upcoming winter and El Nino could become, and those are not just here in the United States.

I'll be talking more about how other parts of the globe have fared during moderate to strong El Nino years. Perhaps the worst part of El Nino may affect locations outside of the United States this time around. Keep checking back.

Have a good Monday, whatever that means.

MS

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Glasgow Project - An El Nino Phenomena

Glasgow, Montana. Perhaps you have heard of it. Can you find it on a map? I did, but it took me a couple of attempts to locate the weather office.

An interesting tidbit I will be using for the upcoming winter to test just how strong this El Nino could be.

During the 1997/1998 El Nino, the strongest on record so far, The National Climatic Data Center claimed that Glasgow never dipped below zero degrees during the entire month of December 1997, a feat that had never occurred before that time. I am unclear if it has ever occurred since then.

But, I do know looking back at past records from December 2010 to December 2014, Glasgow has had a minimum of 4 days below zero for any December during this time. Why, they even report subzero temperatures by the middle of November!

I must say that Glasgow has some pretty wild swings in temperature as the winter just begins to ramp up. One day they could be some 20 degrees above average and a few days later plummet to near 40 degrees below normal.

Therefore, I will be following Glasgow's weather closely beginning in November, but especially December. I'm curious if such a feat could be repeated for December. I am not optimistic, but I do have other 'barometers' I will be using for this upcoming winter and the potentially record-setting El Nino.

I will be sharing more of those as the weeks count down to our winter of 2015/2016.

MS

Friday, August 14, 2015

El Nino's Impact on Atlantic Hurricane Season

With a strengthening El Nino, the Atlantic hurricane season has been non-eventful so far.

In fact the updated Atlantic Hurricane Outlook has a 90% probability for a below normal season. The figure represents the highest probability given by NOAA since their seasonal outlooks began in 1998.

The adjusted outlook has 6-10 named tropical systems, including the three previous ones -- Ana, Bill, and Claudette -- two of which made landfall in the United States as tropical storms. Only 1-4 hurricanes are forecast, a number that seems generous at this point, as El Nino's impacts on the Atlantic basin will continue to hamper tropical development by means of strong vertical shear and overall atmospheric stability in the region.

But, the question that is seared in my mind is how this El Nino will affect our upcoming winter season. More on that in a future post.

MS

Friday, August 7, 2015

MikJournal Bleets 08/07/15

Welcome to another one of my tweets on a blog, or what I call bleets.

04:30 a.m. - Wow, what a reversal. CPC was touting above normal temps for the August 11-16 time frame. Now, below normal temps are looking more likely through the 20th!

05:10 a.m. - Are they serious? There is some talk about naming ENSO events, much like tropical systems and winter storms. Hey, why not?

03:00 p.m. - The ONI, or the Oceanic Nino Index, will likely be shading the last five running 3-month averages red by next month's report to indicate an official El Nino, at least according to this measure.

03:25 p.m. - Parts of Eastern Europe enduring a heat wave. Warsaw Poland forecast for Saturday is high of 97. Normal high is about 77. Some moderation in temperatures is expected, but high temperatures will still be several degrees above normal for the next few days.