“Warm Blobs” of Ocean Water Lead to November 2018 Global Climate Extremes

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Discussion: El Nino is almost upon us! Expect to hear “El Nino onset” from NOAA (or early December at latest). An El Nino atmosphere will evolve and rule global climate for DEC/JAN/FEB 2018-19. However, in the modern-day climate other factors reign as important. One of those factors discussed many times by Climate Impact Company are large regional “warm blobs” of ocean water which lead to climate extremes not necessarily related to El Nino southern oscillation. November 2018 will be such a month. Let’s take a look at the upper air pattern related to the warm blobs and forecast by the NCEP CFS V2 forecast model and the climate extremes implied for next month.

  1. Northwest Pacific Ocean warm blob leads to a very warm East Asia climate in November inducing early season sharp cold further upstream in Central Russia. One of the warmest months of November on record is ahead for northeast China beneath a persistent strong upper ridge caused by a warming atmosphere across a “warm blob” of ocean water to the east. The atmosphere compensates for this warmth by producing the opposing climate extreme farther upstream as North-central Russia to Kazakhstan become snowbound and very cold.

 

Fig. 2-3: The NCEP CFS V2 500 MB anomaly forecast for November 2018 and attendant temperature anomaly forecast for Central/East Asia.

  1. Northeast Pacific Ocean warm blob is strengthening and spreading southeast which may be a sign of evolving warm phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation (+PDO) common during an El Nino episode. An upper ridge develops in November along the California Coast which prevents El Nino rains from affecting drought-ridden California while temperatures are much above normal.
  2. Western North Atlantic warm blob sustains the tendency for very warm climate in the Northeast and East U.S. during late autumn. In-between the West and East upper ridge a wet trough enhanced by evolving El Nino brings wet weather to the Gulf States to the Northeast U.S. Expect excessive rains at times in this zone. Combining the warm blob upper air features with El Nino onset will lead to a stormy November from Louisiana to Kentucky to Maine. It’s mild – so not much snow.

Fig. 4-5: The NCEP CFS V2 500 MB anomaly forecast for November 2018 and attendant precipitation anomaly forecast for the U.S. and Canada.

  1. East of Australia warm blob will bring feared (because drought has already developed) very dry and super-hot weather in November centered on Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales. A titanic upper ridge pattern induced by the warm blob rests over much of Eastern Australia in November.

Fig. 6-7: The NCEP CFS V2 500 MB anomaly forecast for November 2018 and attendant temperature anomaly forecast for Australia.

  1. West of Europe cool blob present most of 2018 continues through late autumn. This feature has caused a semi-permanent upper trough to linger across the North Atlantic, Greenland to the polar region and an upstream ridge to cause a historic drought over Europe. The pattern is not going to change in November.

Fig. 8: North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies analysis provided by Storm Vista WX Models identifying a “cool blob” west of Europe.

Fig. 9-10: The NCEP CFS V2 500 MB anomaly forecast for November 2018 and attendant precipitation anomaly forecast across Europe.