Will There Be A 2018/19 El Niño?

Looks like one may be forming right now.

Judith Curry published the post ENSO forecast for 2018 yesterday.  On the thread (here) I asked and stated:

Judith, the question that needs answering: Are weather conditions right for a series of westerly wind bursts in the western tropical Pacific? Without westerly wind bursts to initiate downwelling Kelvin waves, there will be no El Niño.

So this morning I checked with the NOAA GODAS website, and, yes, there have been westerly wind bursts this year. See the hovmoller plot of the “Surface zonal wind stress anomaly” from the GODAS Pentad Anomaly Products webpage (my Figure 1 below).

Figure 1

Then it was time to check the subsurface temperature anomalies for the equatorial Pacific. And they can be found at the NOAA CDC webpage here. See animation 1 below.  A downwelling Kelvin wave is already making its way across the equatorial Pacific.

Animation 1

So to answer the title question, it obviously appears the initial phases of the processes that initiate an El Niño are already in progress.

Will an El Niño in 2018/19 be strong enough to permanently raise global sea surface temperatures?

Only time will tell. And if you’re wondering how a strong El Niño can (and does) raise global sea surface temperatures permanently, then you obviously haven’t read my ebook Dad, Why Are You A Global Warming Denier? – A Short Story That’s Right for the Times, which is available in Kindle ebook and in paperback editions.  In that book, I’ve explained how a strong El Niño can (and does) raise global sea surface temperatures permanently so simply that an eight-year-old can understand it.   How do I know?  In real life, I explained it to an eight year old, and he understood, no problem. BTW, I have not discussed, and have no intention of discussing, that very simple aspect of strong El Niños in a blog post.


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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10 Responses to Will There Be A 2018/19 El Niño?

  1. ren says:

    SOI indicates a backward wave, but jet stream bothers in the east. Interesting situation. I greet.

  2. gymnosperm says:

    ” I’ve explained how a strong El Niño can (and does) raise global sea surface temperatures permanently”

    Permanently is maybe too strong a word. There is some mixing between the oceans, and at some timescale (probably millennial) this “permanent” surface warming must get balanced out…

  3. Bob Tisdale says:

    gymnosperm, maybe in future posts I’ll reword that to read:

    I’ve explained how a strong El Niño can (and does) cause a long-term rise in global sea surface temperatures, not a temporary one.


  4. catweazle666 says:

    Interesting as ever, Bob.

  5. Pingback: Neue ENSO-Prognose: El Niño noch in diesem Jahr? – wobleibtdieglobaleerwaermung

  6. Alec aka Daffy Duck says:

    Hi bob, hope all is well!

    Has anyone else noticed that NASA and the university of Colorado have stopped updating their sea level graphs?


    CU has not updated their data since the bare beginning of January: “2018.014 51.2”


    Satellite problem, or is something else going on???

  7. My prediction:
    18/19 neutral/positive
    19/20 negative
    20/21 negative

    20-year hadcrut4 trend zero by ~2023, 30 year by ~2031.

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