The Australian Bureau of
Meteorology (BoM) latest model predictions indicate that the El Nino may have
peaked and Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) in Nino3.4 are to rapidly decline during
July. According the US-NOAA, the latest
value for Nino3.4 reduced from 0.7 deg C to 0.5 deg C during the last week.
Yet other international
models have scaled up the probability for an El Nino episode this year to 90%.
This is queer since not only Nino SSTs are stalling around El Nino thresholds, the atmosphere is yet to respond to rise in oceanic temperature increases as
evidenced from the current 30 day average Southern Oscillation Index (SoI) value
of 7.3 –which is just a tad below La Nina threshold. The lack of coupling between
SSTs and atmosphere is proving to be a forecaster’s nightmare. As long as SoI
doesn't respond to STTs, no matter what Nino3.4 values could be doesn’t matter in firmly declaring an El Nino episode.
While climate and weather models
are not reliable, maybe we can look at nature’s signals for more serious cues.
Republished below is an interesting article on unusual fish movements which
scientists claim could be a more reliable signal that a very large El Nino is on its way a la
(Susan Murphy in KPBS) Above-average sea surface
temperatures are developing in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The weather
phenomenon, called El Niño, changes the heating pattern of the atmosphere and
pulls the Pacific jet stream farther south. It has the potential to play havoc
on weather systems across the globe, causing heavy rain and mudslides in some
areas, drought in others, and disrupting the marine food chain.
said Tim Barnett, marine research physicist emeritus with Scripps
Institution of Oceanography.
“We’ll just have to wait
and see how things develop in the summer,” he added.
Barnett said the ’97-’98
event caused a northward shift of the whole fishery population, drawing an
abundance of albacore and Bluefin tuna to San Diego’s unusually warm waters.
“We’ve already started to
see very unusual fish catches here,” Barnett said. “The first yellowfin tuna
was caught in May — that has never happened before to anybody’s recollection.”
“And the other thing too is
the first dorado Mahi Mahi — first of June," Barnett added, “that has
never happened before. They really like the warm water and you normally don’t
see them here until September.”
Barnett said both catches
could be signatures of a coming large-scale El Niño. He said the tropical fish
get caught up in currents caused by El Niño trade winds.
“They get entrapped in the
current and they just swim along happily North,” Barnett said. “Unfortunately,
it’s a one-way trip for most of them, it appears.”
In 1997-98, there were a
lot of strange biological goings-on, Barnett added, like yellowtail being
caught off Kodiac Island in Alaska. The tropical fish usually stops much
farther south at Point Conception near Santa Barbara, California.
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