Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How Much El Nino Warm Water Is Out There?

Often times, weather maps are hard to conceptualize unless you use them everyday. Since the summer, my El Nino posts have been filled with colorful maps analyzing ocean water temperatures, air pressure, possible winter storm tracks and air temperature. These maps are pretty basic for meteorologists and atmospheric scientists who view these everyday. For the non-scientific viewer, the colors can be as convoluted as a Rorschach diagram if not properly put into perspective.

Below is a picture of the Pacific Ocean temperatures relative to average.  Warmer and cooler pockets are easily visible. The El Nino is the band of warmer colors in the middle along the equator.

Just how large is this area of warmth?  How much water are we talking about?

Consider that the length of Lake Erie is approximately 240 miles. The distance across the main ENSO region in the yellow box below where the core of the warmth is located is roughly 5000 miles. The depth of this warmth is roughly 100 meters or slightly more than 300 feet.

The area boxed in yellow is roughly equivalent to 75% of the contiguous United States.

Performing a quick volume calculation (area times depth), we come up a HUGE volume of relative warm water in the El Nino region using these parameters: 

The VOLUME water in the equatorial Pacific Ocean where water temps are running at least 3 degrees Celsius (~5 deg Fahrenheit) above normal is more than 25 TIMES GREATER than volume of ALL the Great Lakes! WOW!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Do Warm Novembers Lead To Warm Decembers?

Our November forecast was for above normal temperatures.  Through the 16th (eventually through the 18th) it will verify quite nicely.  But do these warm temperatures across much of the US mean that december will be warmer than normal?  Not necessarily. I found the warmest FIRST HALF NOVEMBERS in northern Ohio and charted below the Decembers that followed.

Notice that each December is a bit different.

The bottom line is you cannot use a few weeks in early November as the only predictor of the month or winter ahead. 

Look what happened last winter. Each box shows the temperature across the country for each month left to right starting in November and ending in February.  I guarantee that most people were thinking these thoughts after each month:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I Need Your Input/Ideas

It's been almost 10 years since I started my weather blog SCOTT'S WORLD OF WEATHER. Back in late 2005, it was a more general blog about my observations of the world as a new father coupled with some random science and weather. About 5 years into it, my focus shifted to the technical side of weather, atmospheric science, forecasting and our perceptions/biases of both. It slowly became a diary of my thoughts about these technical subjects which, by their nature can, and have become self-indulgent to a certain degree. The last thing I want is to be so far drawn into a subject technically that the narrative I'm trying to convey becomes thickly bloated with esoteric terms and convoluted analysis. The last thing I want to do is lose people.

As a result, I believe many posts have lost sight of what the reader really wants.  So I'm asking everyone who reads my blog what they would like me to cover and how they would like it done. Let me know what you like, what you don't. Let me know what was too hard to understand.  Please let me know in the comment section below. Do you want more explanations,less explanations? Pictures? While I can't promise that each blog post will be clean and simplified for every one's taste (after all, the world of science is a very complex place), I will work on explaining each element a bit better.

Send me your comments at the bottom of this page or at the following locations:

Via email:  scott.sabol@fox8.com
Facebook:  http://facebook.com/scottsabolfanpage
Twitter:  scottsabolfox8
Instagram:  scottsabolpics


In advance, thank you!