Friday, July 6, 2012

Brace yourselves. El Nino is coming

You heard right; our favorite short-term temperature driver, fresh off a rare double-dip into the (comparably) frigid La Nina regime, is now charging into El Nino:

The official definition of El Nino is (roughly in plain English) that a temperature index called Nino 3.4 becomes greater than +0.5C and stays there for several months. The last El Nino episode ended in May 2010, over two years ago. We won't know for sure if we have another El Nino for several months, but, as of Monday, we have taken the first step: Nino 3.4 hit +0.6C.

The forecast indices used by NOAA, which until recently were projecting ENSO-neutral conditions through the spring of 2013, are now all coming up "hot times ahead."

What does all this mean? Well, if coupled with a little less anemic job market, it may be an opportunity to refocus the public's attention on the climate. More immediately, well . . .

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