Regional SSTA Tracking

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Fig. 1-4: Important SSTA regions to follow which help to generate climate forecasts.

Regional SSTA discussion: Climate Impact Company follows regional SSTA closely as to their influence on climate and climate projections. In the western North Atlantic SSTA are warm particularly off the Northeast Corridor Coast (Fig. 1). The waters have been typically very warm off the Northeast Coast due to the slow down of the Gulf Stream which has piled warm water. Contributing to the warmth is the slowing or elimination of the Labrador Current. The anomalous warm SSTA indicates sea level is above normal which increases coastal waters during high tide or storms. The warm SSTA also biases the Northeast U.S. climate mild and wet near the coast.

In the Nino34 SSTA region of the east-central equatorial Pacific (Fig. 2) cooling is quickly in recent days indicating La Nina is coming on rapidly!

The “warm blob” in the northeast Pacific Ocean where anomalous warmth has dominated since 2013 remains warm but the past 30 days have brought sharp cooler changes (Fig. 3) to the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and southward. If this trend continues, the risk of a “ridge-bridge” upper air pattern to tap Siberia arctic air across the polar region into North America is low. Instead, a cool GOA pattern favors a warmer than normal U.S. climate.

Finally, the Norwegian Sea is cooling during the past 30 days particularly in the vicinity of Iceland (Fig. 4). During winter when this region is very warm the atmosphere also warms favoring high-pressure blocking and high risk of negative North Atlantic oscillation (-NAO) leading to a snowy/cold East U.S./Europe pattern. The cooler trend implies just-the-opposite will occur: Positive North Atlantic oscillation (+NAO).