An Alaskan Weather and Climate Blog: All Science, No Politics
Contributions by Richard James and Rick Thoman
With the Blob disappearing and El Nino weakening, some have speculated that we are heading for a strong La Nina this next winter. Is there any correlation to the strength of ENSO and temperature/precipitation in parts of Alaska? Would an ENSO of -2 maybe be 10℉ below average versus an index of -1 being maybe 5℉ below average? Basically, if we get La Nina, how cold will it get?
Eric, here's a set of charts I made last month showing hoe Alaska fared during El Ninos. In the comments, I added charts with detrended data.
Oops, forgot the link: http://on.fb.me/1Wie03p
Thanks, Brian. I forgot about that even though I commented on it (facepalm). Moral of the story, with La Nina we could have average temps or 0.6 std dev (which is what in Fairbanks? 10℉ below normal?).
Eric, this will be a good topic for future posts as some kind of La Nina is rather likely for next winter. Doing my own quick analysis, the top 10 La Nina's produced Nov-Mar temperatures below the 1981-2010 normal 8 of 10 times in Fairbanks; 5 of the 10 were more than 5F below, but 4 of those were pre-1976.Late winter (Jan-Feb) looks like a better bet for unusual cold than early winter (Nov-Dec) if La Nina does come along. Only 3 of the 10 were more than 3F below normal in Nov-Dec, but 6 of 10 were more than 5F below normal in Jan-Feb (and 4 of 10 more than 11F below normal).
Best enjoy the current El Nino condx in Alaska as it isn't very often we slide through a warm winter and Spring. I'm not liking potentially going back to another normal or cold one next yearhttp://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdfGary