03/21/2023, 3:41 pm EDT

Are We Heading Toward an El Nino Summer in the Tropics?

Dynamic ENSO phase forecast models are indicating a full-tilt El Nino by August 2023. Implied is a tropical cyclone season in the North Atlantic basin possibly similar to the last full-throttle El Nino that suppressed North Atlantic activity. Below normal rainfall was observed during JUL/AUG/SEV 2015 across the Southern U.S., Gulf of Mexico, and western North Atlantic tropics.
03/17/2023, 8:31 am EDT

-PNA climate pattern regenerates, tough to break.

Since late January, the Pacific North America (PNA) index has shifted to a (mostly) steady negative phase. A brief positive phase is with us now, but strengthening negative phase returns in the latest 15-day forecast. The -PNA pattern occurs when an upper-level troughing in the jet stream pattern occurs just off the North America West Coast. The persistence of the -PNA pattern has caused the Northeast Pacific to cool, the Northeast Pacific marine heat wave (MHW) to shift westward and reinvigorate the cool phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation (-PDO).
03/15/2023, 12:44 pm EDT

April/May 2023 U.S. Wind/Solar Forecast

EXPERIMENTAL Zonal/Meridional Wind Anomaly Forecast EXPERIMENTAL Relative Humidity Anomaly Forecast Valid: April and May 2023 Executive summary: Forecast highlights for mid-to-late meteorological spring for key wind power generation areas including California and SPP identify northern Texas, the southern Great Plains, and Missouri Valley for above normal north-south meridional wind in May. Stronger than normal (zonal and meridional) wind speeds are forecast for April from the Upper Midwest to New England. Above normal meridional wind is forecast for San Francisco to Sacramento to the Los Angeles basin for each month. Notable solar conditions are indicted for California to Nevada during April where both low and high cloudiness is forecast below normal. The Gulf States to the Mid-Atlantic region is the sunny zone for May. Methodology discussion: A glitch was found with the February 2023 verification as California to the Midwest U.S. was wetter than normal which was anticipated by an above normal cloud cover forecast for much of this stretch in the CIC-CA 850 MB relative humidity (RH) anomaly forecast. However, the RH anomaly for this zone was drier than normal. The specific humidity (SH) verification was slightly better. The CIC-CA cloud cover forecasts continue to rely on 850 MB (5,000 feet) for low clouds/precipitation and 300 MB (30,000 feet) for cirrus high clouds. However, the forecast remains EXPERIMENTAL as these methodologies are not well-proven (yet). The zonal and meridional directions for wind speed anomalies remains intact. Producing a wind speed anomaly forecast accounting for both parameters is a goal for 2023 for this climate forecast product. Climate discussion: Major changes to the global climate system (GCS) are likely in 2023. The primary issue is ENSO. Oceanic La Nina ended during the past couple weeks although a La Nina climate remains. Oceanic La Nina is defined using the conventional Nino34 SSTA index which is neutral. Atmospheric La Nina remains due to a weak negative phase of the multivariate ENSO index (MEI) which identifies the reaction of the atmosphere to the equatorial Pacific Ocean sea surface temperature (SST) regimes. Most dynamic models are forecasting a potentially vigorous El Nino to develop after mid-year. Statistical/analog forecasts are not as aggressive. The solar/wind forecasts in this report are based mostly on a fading La Nina climate. Forecasts for June (and beyond) are likely to strongly favor an El Nino climate. Additionally, the mid-latitude North Pacific and North Atlantic are very warm and forecast to trend warmer (compared to normal) into the upcoming summer season. The warming mid-latitude oceans will carry as much (if not more-so) influence on U.S. climate compared to ENSO phase. Of interest to the West Coast is the presence of marine heat waves NEP22A and NEP23A which have shifted westward during the winter season with strong cooling off the U.S. West Coast fueling a persistent cool phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation (-PDO). Global SSTA forecast models indicate the warming associated with NEP22A and NEP23A will shift toward the West Coast during summertime which is required if a stronger El Nino is going to develop. A lot to follow over the next few months regarding potential large changes in the global SSTA regime. April/May 2023 wind forecast: The projected upper air pattern for April features a polar vortex in North-central Canada, upper ridge shifting into the Gulf of Alaska, and a persistent ridge just off the Mid-Atlantic Coast. The CIC-CA April 2023 wind anomaly pattern responds to this upper air pattern by producing above normal zonal wind speeds across the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes region while zonal wind anomalies are weaker than normal across Western Texas (Fig. 1). The Southeast States also observe below normal zonal wind anomalies in April. On the West Coast, zonal wind anomalies are near neutral. However, meridional wind is stronger than normal from San Francisco to Los Angeles to the central San Juaquin Valley (Fig. 2). The wind direction is likely northerly due to the offshore high-pressure system forecast by the constructed analog. Meridional wind speed anomalies are also stronger than normal from the Great Lakes to the northern Mid-Atlantic region. Elsewhere, meridional wind speed anomalies are weak or near normal. Compared to the previous forecast, the zonal wind anomalies are slightly different while meridional wind speed anomalies are adjusted slightly stronger. Fig. 1-2: The experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of zonal and meridional wind anomalies for the U.S. during April 2023.  The May upper air pattern anticipates the polar vortex shifting eastward and stretching from Hudson Bay to the Canadian Maritimes. An upper ridge remains locked-in on the Mid-Atlantic U.S. while a weak upper trough resides over the Southwest U.S. The wind pattern response to the constructed analog upper air projection features below normal zonal wind speeds across Montana and into the northwest Great Plains and across the Gulf States especially Florida and marginally weaker than normal in Texas (Fig. 3). The Northeast U.S. observes above normal zonal wind speeds. The meridional wind speed anomalies are stronger than normal across Northern Texas, Oklahoma and the Mid-south States which encompasses the southern half of the SPP region (Fig. 4). Above normal meridional wind speeds are also likely in the central/south coast and central San Juaquin Valley portion of California. Fig. 3-4: Experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of zonal and meridional wind anomalies for the U.S. during May 2023. April/May 2023 solar forecast: The April outlook maintains a below normal RH anomaly regime from the West Coast to the central Great Plains and eastward to the southern Appalachians (Fig. 5). Implied is below normal precipitation in this zone which favors above normal sunlight. The cloudy zone is across the Great Lakes to New England and Florida. During April high clouds obscure the sky more than normal across Northern Mexico and into the Southwest U.S. plus Washington. Elsewhere, below normal cirrus cloudiness is forecast outside of the U.S. in Southern Canada and the Gulf of Mexico region (Fig. 6). The outlook is similar to the previous forecast except more low cloud risk in Texas and Florida. Fig. 5-6: Experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of 850 MB (low cloud) and 300 MB (high cloud) relative humidity anomalies for the U.S. during April 2023.  During May, above normal 850 MB cloudiness to obscure sunlight and suggest above normal precipitation is forecast across Montana/Wyoming to the Missouri Valley and into Texas (Fig. 7). Presence of an upper trough increases the risk of low-level atmosphere cloudiness across Southern California to the Great Basin. Below normal low-level cloudiness promoting sunlight is projected across the Gulf States to the Mid-Atlantic region due to the influence of a semi-permanent high-pressure area. The Northwest Coast also observes below normal low-level cloudiness. High clouds are likely above normal in the Mid-south States and below normal (increased sunlight) in most of California, the Gulf States, and the Upper Midwest (Fig. 8). Fig. 7-8: Experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of 850 MB (low cloud) and 300 MB (high cloud) relative humidity anomalies for the U.S. during May 2023.
03/14/2023, 4:25 pm EDT

February 2023 Solar/Wind Verification Report

Climate Impact Company Wind/Solar Verification Report Valid for February 2023 Tuesday March 14, 2023 Discussion: An astounding observation with an uncertain explanation occurred during February. The Central/East-central U.S. observed sharply below normal relative humidity at 850 MB (5,000 feet) while this entire zone was wetter than normal for the final month of meteorological winter (Fig. 1). In fact, Iowa and Michigan were in the top 10 wettest on record while Wisconsin was 5th wettest on record. Despite the late month return of the “atmospheric river” pattern to California, only Southern California observed above normal relative humidity at 5,000 feet. As a review, most rain and snow is generated by cloud cover near or just below the 5,000 foot level. Therefore, the February below normal RH for such a large area is astounding. In the high-level atmosphere near the jet stream axis, above normal RH was observed from the Tennessee Valley to the Mid-Atlantic coastline (Fig. 2). Beneath this zone, Virginia observed their warmest February on record. Fig. 1-2: February 2023 observed 850 MB and 300 MB relative humidity anomalies. The Climate Impact Company 850 MB RH anomaly forecast correctly identified the likely wetter than normal Midwest/Northeast U.S. pattern by forecasting above normal RH (Fig. 3). Despite the correct impression left by this forecast, the RH prediction failed. At 300 MB, the February outlook was very dry (Fig. 4). The observations revealed a normally cloudy month of February except above normal cloudiness in the Mid-Atlantic region. Fig. 3-4: February 2023 forecast of 850 MB and 300 MB relative humidity anomalies. Fig. 5-6: February 2023 observed zonal and meridional wind anomalies. Anomalous wind was barely present in the west-east zonal direction during February (Fig. 5). Exceptions are downslope the northwestern Montana Rockies and parts of the southwest Great Plains. However, the north-south meridional flow produced above normal wind speed anomalies across much of the eastern half of the U.S. while wind speeds were somewhat below normal just-off the U.S. West Coast (Fig. 6). Given the very warm East U.S. regime during February, most of the anomalous wind was from the southerly direction. Fig. 7-8: February 2023 forecast of zonal and meridional wind anomalies. The Climate Impact Company forecast for February 2023 indicated much of the Far West would observe above normal west-east zonal wind (Fig. 7). The verification indicated zonal wind averaged near normal. The forecast produced below normal zonal wind downslope the Rocky Mountains. Similarly, the wind speeds were near normal in this location. The west-east zonal wind forecast was below normal across New England. Observed wind speeds in the zonal vectors for New England was marginally lighter than normal. The meridional wind direction forecast was lighter than normal for the West Coast and Upper Midwest States (Fig. 8). The lighter than normal north-south meridional wind forecast on the West Coast verified. However, stronger than normal southerlies into the Midwest U.S. were un-forecast.