Friday, May 9, 2014

JMA Model Predicting Strong El Nino to Develop for Winter 2014-2015

The Japanese Meteorological Agency's long range climate model is predicting a strong El Nino to develop in time for the upcoming winter.

Shown above we see the predicted sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the yellow squares from present day to about October 2014, with observed SST anomalies in the red circles on the left side of the graph. We see that the JMA model is predicting a rather linear rise in sea surface temperature anomalies into this summer and fall, reaching El Nino territory by late spring. The shaded red region in this graph indicates the threshold and SST anomalies that define an El Nino (+0.5 degrees C or above), while the blue shaded region defines official La Nina SST anomalies (-0.5 degrees C or below).

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) here in the United States makes its own climate model as well, named the Coupled Forecast System model (CFS). The CFS model above shows a linear increase in SST anomalies as well, maxing out at around 1.5 degrees Celsius for November-December-January in 2014-2015. The 1.5 degrees C above normal benchmark is also the threshold for a Strong El Nino, meaning such an El Nino of that strength is still possible (though in my personal opinion, not as likely). The general gist of these two models is that we can expect an El Nino to develop later on this summer, likely to strengthen through the fall and into this winter.