Something to Keep an Eye On – The Large Blue Ribbon of Below-Normal Sea Surface Temperatures in the North Pacific

The weather pattern that created Siberia’s well-below-normal land surface air temperatures in October 2016 …

oct-2016-ghcn-cams

October 2016 Land Surface Air Temperature Anomalies (GHCN-CAMS through KNMI Climate Explorer)

…has apparently extended eastward.  It is now influencing the sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific and creating an atypical large swath of cooler-than-normal observations that stretches almost fully from eastern Asia to western North America.  See Animation 1, which is a gif animation of daily sea surface temperature anomaly maps from CMC Environment Canada for the past 30 days.  Depending on your browser, you may need to click on the animation.

animation-1

Animation 1

If those below-normal anomalies persist in the North Pacific, they should influence reported global sea surface temperatures in coming months.  Then again, they could well result from a short-term weather pattern like the one that caused the recent resurrection and demise of THE BLOB.

Time will tell.  Sure would be fun to report on if they persist.

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About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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18 Responses to Something to Keep an Eye On – The Large Blue Ribbon of Below-Normal Sea Surface Temperatures in the North Pacific

  1. tomwys says:

    Record November 1 open Arctic along the north Siberian coast permitted deposition of early albedo (read snow) in northern Siberia, plunging temperatures – October was record cold in northern China. Nuff said!!!

  2. Nate says:

    Bob

    Doesnt this look somewhat like the positive PDO pattern? In any case what do you think of this plot showing PDO and Hadcrut? How would you explain the correlation?

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/jisao-pdo/mean:120/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:120/from:1900

  3. Bob Tisdale says:

    Nate, what correlation? HADCRUT4, according to your graph, climbs while the PDO is positive and negative.

    Also, the PDO does not represent the sea surface temperature anomalies of the North Pacific, only the spatial patterns of the temperature anomalies…how the west-central anomalies relate to the eastern anomalies. See Chapter 3.5 of On Global Warming and the Illusion of Control – Part 1:
    https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/tisdale-on-global-warming-and-the-illusion-of-control-part-1.pdf

  4. Nate says:

    Seems T is climbing when PDO is positive and T is flatter when PDO is negative. Certainly would explain the flat from 40s to 60s and 2003-2013. Does PDO reflect the strength of El Ninos in your opinion?

  5. Nate says:

    Also other things are going on-e.g. volcanoes ~ 1910

  6. Frank says:

    Bob: It takes a lot of heat loss to change the temperature of the ocean (to a significant depth below the surface). If I remember correctly, the heat capacity of air is about the same as the heat capacity of the top three meters of ocean. If all that cold air over Siberia were to cool the North Pacific, the cooling should only extend a few meters below the surface.

    Your observation is extremely interesting, but you probably need a more potent explanation for cooling in the North Pacific. Perhaps both phenomena are associated with more upwelling of cold water in the North Pacific, but the response time of the atmosphere is much faster than that of the ocean.

    I enjoy your blog.

  7. Bob Tisdale says:

    Nate, the PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO, but because the spatial patterns of the sea surface temperature anomalies there are also impacted by local sea level pressures (and related surface winds), the PDO can be out of synch with ENSO.

    Cheers.

  8. Bob Tisdale says:

    Frank, you obviously read something into my post that I didn’t write or imply. I never said, “all that cold air over Siberia were to cool the North Pacific…”

    I wrote, The weather pattern that created Siberia’s well-below-normal land surface air temperatures in October 2016 … …has apparently extended eastward. It is now influencing the sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific and creating an atypical large swath of cooler-than-normal observations that stretches almost fully from eastern Asia to western North America.

    Not sure how that morphed into what you wrote.

    Cheers.

  9. Alec aka Daffy Duck says:

    Hi bob,
    Just adding a pretty picture from NCEP… I’ve been curious also

  10. Frank says:

    Bob: Thanks for the correction; I read more into what you said that you actually wrote. I – and perhaps other readers – tend to think of “weather patterns” as being located in the atmosphere. When you said the pattern had extended eastward over the Pacific, I thought the cold air had moved that direction. The SST map doesn’t tell us if it is still unusually cold over Siberia.

  11. Mark Green says:

    Hi Bob, great synopsis as usual!!

    How do you get the animation of ssta and ice cover?? I had a look at the Canadian website but it’s navigation isn’t very intuitive…..is it available there or something you patched together??

    Thx Mark

  12. Bob Tisdale says:

    Hi Mark. It’s something I put together. I download the daily maps regularly…boring…then throw it together with an ancient gif animation software package I bought years ago.

    As you may have noticed the initial numbers in the http address…

    weather.gc.ca/data/saisons/images/2016111300_054_G6_global_I_SEASON_tm@lg@sd_000.png

    …are the date, followed by 2 zeroes.

    Let’s hope that pattern persists, though I don’t think it will.

    Cheers.

  13. Mark Green says:

    Thx Bob, I feel your pain, I screen printed, saved, cropped in PS, resaved and animated a years worth of Nullschool ssta last year to try to see what was causing the cold blob in N atlantic…….

    Laborious!!! I had a brief exchange with the chap who operates Nullschool, he seemed positive about introducing a feature on his site to allow this on the net but I guess it’s a tricky deal.

    Would be wonderful to tap in some dates and have these run automatically! !!

  14. Frederik Michiels says:

    what i find interesting and it is something i shared on a dutch forum is how this is actually an opposite of a typical el nino aftermath….

    it’s as if all the warm water from the el nino that usually flows north actually did vanish into a huge cold area. i did compare August with the latest maps and it shows drops in some area’s of 6°C and more.

    A lot of hot water als shifted nort to the arctic, and that hot water is now losing heat fast (no sunshine) as what many do forget: ice is an insulator.

    So on this moment there is an enormous heat loss at the arctic.

  15. Bob Tisdale says:

    Agreed, Frederik. It is an unusual post-El Nino period. In addition to your observations about the North Pacific…
    Much of he leftover surface warm water has remained in the eastern tropical Pacific. And little of the leftover warm water has migrated into the Indian Ocean.

    Cheers

  16. Pingback: November 2016 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  17. Pingback: Global Ocean Temperatures Dropping Fast | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

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