NOAA: “El Ni±o is expected to continue and last at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2010.”

Hottest decade on record may well be followed by hottest year

NOAA’s National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center released its monthly El Ni±o/Southern oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion:

Synopsis: El Ni±o is expected to continue and last at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2010.

El Ni±o strengthened from October to November 2009, as sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies increased across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean (Figs. 1 and 2). The Ni±o-3.4 index value remained steady during November with the most recent weekly value at +1.7°C (Fig. 2)…. Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect a moderate strength El Ni±o.

This is a revision from NOAA’s November Diagnosis:

El Ni±o is expected to continue strengthening and last through at least the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-2010.

On Monday, in its weekly ENSO update, NOAA said its own CFS (Climate Forecast System) ensemble mean forecast projected “El Ni±o lasting “at least into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2010.”

Back in January, NASA had predicted:

Given our expectation of the next El Ni±o beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance.

If a moderate El Ni±o lasts into the late spring or beyond, then NASA’s January prediction is looking better and better.  And indeed, the AP reported back in late October, “NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt predicts 2010 may break a record.”

So yes, the hottest decade in recorded history by far may well be followed by the hottest year on record, even though we’re at “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century,” according to NASA.  It’s just hard to stop the march of anthropogenic global warming, well, other than by reducing GHG emissions, that is.


5 Responses to NOAA: “El Ni±o is expected to continue and last at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2010.”

  1. Mark S says:

    Joe, if you look at the El Nino monitoring page there is an animation similar to the one you’ve embedded but showing the whole world. In the animation one can see a large warm (very warm!) region of ocean just above Antarctica. Is this normal? Anybody out there have an explanation as to what this is?

    [JR: Don’t know. Do note that this is an anomaly map. The water is still cool.]

  2. Michael hauber says:

    Check out

    The Antarctic Circumpolar wave is a pattern of variation which has warm water in that spot at the same time as warm water in the Central Pacific. Interesting is that the PDO cool phase tends to be opposite to an El Nino in many aspects, but shows a general tendancy towards warm water in the South Pacific.

  3. From Peru says:

    The entire South Pacific is turning yellow-to-red in NOAA SST anomalies map(link: ) …
    …Next Republican newsflash: oh my dear! NOAA is formed by evil communists that put their colour in the sea… the Red Tide…McCarty come again to put these traitors in the electric chair!)…..
    Jokes apart, moderate-to-strong warm(1-2ºC) anomalies developed in South Central Pacific and between Australia and New Zealand. The warmth completely encircles Australia(that has had a severe springtime heatwave and drought, see “Springtime Heatwave in Southeastern Australia” at NASA Earth Obserbatory,
    and the entire Indian Ocean.

    The only exception is a cold water tongue in front of Chile and Peru in South America, that should disappear as the strong front of the El Niño waters (now at Galapagos Islands in front of Ecuador) hit the Ecuador and Peruvian coasts.

    Has happened anytime before to have WARM ANOMALIES WIDESPREAD IN ALMOST ALL the South Pacific?

  4. From Peru says:

    Want a guess?

    The irregular pattern of winds in the South Pacific pushing warm water southwards.
    See the wind animation, found in the “NOAA map room”: