German climate and weather analyst Schneefan here Looks at the current ENSO conditions. What follows are excerpts of what he presents.
The global cooling weather phenomenon La Niña in the equatorial Pacific is steadily increasing in strength – and the NOAA has not recognized this: NOAA Cancels La Niña Watch While La Niña Conditions Exist.
The plot SSTA in the Niño area from 1990 to early September 2016. The end of August/early September 2016 was clearly in the La Niña range at a value of -0.7 and thus has plummeted by more than 3°C since March. Source: NOAA Cancels La Niña Watch While La Niña Conditions Exist
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is considered as the two-month leading indicator for the development of the easterly trade winds at the equatorial Pacific, and thus for the development of the ENSO. The 30-day index shows the difference between the surface atmospheric pressure between Tahiti and Darwin (Australia).
Currently it’s at +10.6 and thus clearly in the La Niña range of over +7 and rising steeply:
30-day SOI of the Australian BOM weather office over the pastz 2 years. Mid September 2016 the value was 10.6, well into La Niña range. That’s the highest level in over two years: La Niña is here and will be around for awhile. Source: www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/
The warm surface water of the Pacific is driven westwards topwards Australia, and thus bringing cooler water from the depths to the sea surface: Cold upwelling is created and leads to the La Niña.
The SOI shows a clear La Niña path for at least the coming two months.
The cold upwelling phase can also be seen (at least by most of us) through the measured/calculated subsurface temperatures down to 300m depth at the equatorial Pacific:
Plot shows the temperature anomalies underwater at the equatorial Pacific from June to September 12, 2016. Cold dominates a large region: La Niña is there – and will remain. Source: 4-month sequence of Pacific Ocean equatorial temperature anomaly cross sections.
Despite these clear indications in both the atmosphere and in the water at the equatorial Pacific region, the ENSO models remain completely in dispute over the development up to November.
The model from METEO foresees strong La Niña conditions of -1.2 K, but the ECMWF sees almost neutral condtions. Source: www.bom.gov.au/Pacific-Ocean
Arctic Sea Ice Rebounds
And if one looks at the area trend over the past 10 years, there has been no decline at all. Moreover a large region of Arctic sea ice is now quite thick – far from being disappeared. Compare today’s Arctic sea thickness to that of 2008, for example.
Currently the ice area is well over 4 Wadhams (1 million sq kilometers) thick. (One reader suggested using “Wadhams” as a unit for sea ice area in order to honor Peter Wadhams’s spectacularly failed prediction of an ice free Arctic by now.)