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Old 11-18-2009, 10:12 PM
Location: East Central Phoenix
5,325 posts, read 8,153,123 times
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The so called meteorological experts have said for several months that El Niño has returned to Pacific waters, is strengthening, and will be affecting various weather patterns around the globe during the late fall, winter, & spring of 2009 to 2010. This is nothing new because every time El Niño occurs, the NWS makes their usual predictions that California, the SW, Texas, much of the southern tier of states, and Florida will have a wet winter ... and the Pacific NW will have below normal precipitation.

A while back, they already made similar predictions for November:

However, when observing what has REALLY happened so far in November: much of the Pacific NW has actually received ABOVE normal precipiation totals this month, while California, Arizona, and much of the west are sitting in the middle of a long term dry spell.

So, here are the long term predictions for the rest of the winter & early spring:

December through February

January through March

February through April

It will be interesting to refer to this thread again in April of 2010 to observe what actually happened with the jet stream & precipitation totals in the various regions. Will California, Arizona, and the SW get a much needed wet winter? Hard to say ... but, quite frankly, I don't believe much of anything the NWS predicts in terms of precipitation until I actually see it! The last El Niño happened during the 2006-2007 winter season, and they predicted the same wet weather pattern for the SW ... however, California & the SW experienced a very DRY winter instead.

Bottom line is: these long term predictions are mostly just guesses or coin tosses at best. It seems like a huge waste of time and money for the NWS to keep making these predictions when they seldom come true. They really would do better to just report the statistics as they happen, and quit trying to be psychics!

Last edited by Valley Native; 11-18-2009 at 10:21 PM..
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:17 AM
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
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Yep, I'm a believer!
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:22 AM
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 33,198,992 times
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That's a good question. I also saw TWC reports yesterday saying that it is stronger then predicted.

I can't really say I'm a believer. I'm more of a hoper. And yea, that's not really a word. When there is an El Nino, my area is supposed to have a warmer winter with less snow.

Honestly, I don't believe in long range weather predictions. I've learned that they don't even match on present or past weather so predicting the future is pretty much out of their grasp. IMHO I can only hope that El Nino is real.

Have you ever paid attention to your 10 day forecast? The first three days are quite accurate, but the forecast for the further range gets changed repeatedly.

I don't doubt that they monitor the ocean temps and many more things. Guess I just don't believe in that crystal ball thing.
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:50 PM
Location: Middle Tennessee
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The El Niño effect has been a tracking tool for years. I trust it to be a forecasting tool but not an exact science as in math.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:28 PM
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
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Hoper is a good word! When you think about it, we all do a great deal of it in terms of the weather!

I know long range is tricky but I just think things point to a less snowy and a little warmer than normal for us. There will always be those frigid spells but maybe not as severe this year.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:51 PM
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
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This chart shows that strong El Ninos from the past in Oklahoma seems to have made the winter precip. go up slightly: NWS Norman, Oklahoma - Weak to Moderate El Niño Conditions Expected During the Winter of 2006-2007 (http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/climate/elnino.php - broken link)

And the link to my weather station web site from the biggest city in America named Stillwater:

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Old 11-19-2009, 06:19 PM
Location: Long Island/NYC
11,279 posts, read 16,166,565 times
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I can't say I'm a believer, I'm a hoper & prayer lol. I think we should've had our first freeze about 2 weeks ago but we haven't even had a frost yet, no frost in sight either. We've been in the 60's practically all month.

I hope this El Nino gets stronger and stronger.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:33 PM
Location: New York City
2,790 posts, read 4,988,959 times
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NWS does not pretend that their predictions will be a certainty. If you read the maps, each one says at the bottom left "precipitation probability". The colored regions on the map indicate 33% or 40% or 50% greater probability that it will be wetter or drier than normal, with the rest of the area having equal chances. If an area has 40% chance to be wetter than normal then it has ... 60% chance that it will be normal or dryer than normal!

They are estimates; take them for what they are.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:46 AM
Location: Eastern Sydney, Australia
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As much as I hate El Nino, I do believe it occurs. Extreme heat/drought in August/September and this month says it all. October however for Sydney (and over a wide part of Australia especially in terms of cooler temperatures) happened to be wetter, cloudier and cooler which totally went against the normally expected trend of drier, warmer and sunnier weather.

El Nino is very bad and damaging for Australia - hotter and drier weather leading to more frequent droughts/heatwaves/bushfires. I'd much prefer the La Nina pattern which brings often wetter and cooler conditions. However this month has seen the southern half of WA (and til recently Sydney) escaping the heat, dealing with much cooler weather.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:55 PM
Location: Singapore
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El Nino-type weather conditions have yet to materialize in the US...
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