The La Nina In 2020 Forecast Is In Jeopardy

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The subsurface equatorial Pacific to the east of the Dateline is losing a moderate-strength cool signature which developed in May and signaled La Nina ahead. In recent weeks the cool anomaly has nearly disappeared. Subsurface support for La Nina evolution will need to rebuild.

Highlight: Subsurface equatorial East Pacific support for La Nina is weakening. The La Nina in 2020 forecast is in jeopardy.

Discussion: During June and into early July subsurface equatorial cool water in the East Pacific has diminished (Fig. 1-2). The cool water source to fuel La Nina is weakening. Consequently, the trend of the Nino SSTA regions toward La Nina during late spring have eased off since mid-to-late June (Fig. 3). The La Nina episode forecast for later this year is in jeopardy. The full Climate Impact Company ENSO Outlook for 2020-21 will be issued later today.

Fig. 1: Subsurface upper ocean heat across the equatorial Pacific cooled rapidly during mid-to-late spring signaling La Nina ahead! However, the cool subsurface weakened in June.

Fig. 2: Subsurface upper oceanic cooling east of the Dateline was impressive and signaled La Nina ahead in May. However, the subsurface cooling has diminished in recent weeks.

Fig. 3: The 12-week Nino SSTA monitor indicates the cooling toward La Nina in late spring has eased. Neutral ENSO is present now!