Updated El Nino Outlook for Southwest California

Updated El Nino Outlook for Southwest California


Hello, this is Eric Boldt from the National
Weather Service in Oxnard, CA. Here is the October update on El Nino and the latest predictions
for the upcoming 2015-16 winter season across southwest California. We have been in El Nino since last March and
it continues to strengthen. October sea surface temperature anomaly continues
to reflect warming across the tropical Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean. The latest ENSO
3.4 Region shown in the black box is at 2.4 degrees Celsius and already reflecting a strong
El Nino category. Temperatures remain above normal across much of the eastern and northern
Pacific Ocean as well. The latest El Nino reading is in second place
when compared to the two strongest El Nino�s since 1950. The black line is where we are
currently, just behind the 1997-98 strong event shown in blue and just ahead of the
1982-83 event in green. El Nino�s typically peak in strength during the winter months
and then weaken during the spring and summer. Computer models are mainly predicting that
this winter�s El Nino will be a strong event. The yellow line is the model average predicted
for this winter season and it peaks between 2 and 2.5 degrees Celsius, well above the
1.5 degree threshold for a strong El Nino event.
All past strong El Nino�s since measurements began in 1950 have resulted in above normal
rainfall for downtown Los Angeles. This chart shows the past six strong events along with
the precipitation amounts during the four years prior to the El Nino season. Average
rainfall for downtown is a little over 15 inches per year, and during strong El Nino�s
rainfall has ranged roughly from 20 to 30+ inches.
Looking across the entire state of California during the past six strong El Nino�s since
1950 shows that precipitation has historically been above average across southern areas while
northern areas have been mixed. In these two strong events much of central and northern
CA have been below average for the year and this is significant as most of the large reservoirs
are in this part of the state. Less precipitation in this region is a concern for drought relief
and water supply for much of CA. With El Nino predicted through the upcoming
winter season, here is the precipitation outlook for the rainy season months of January through
March. There is a greater than 60% chance of being wetter than normal across southwest
California. Normal annual rainfall ranges from about 15 to 25 inches across the area.
The temperature outlook for the January through March time frame calls for having slightly
warmer than normal temperatures for the three-month period. A higher chance of above normal temperatures
are depicted across northern California. Thank you for listening to this presentation.
Here is my contact information along with our website and social media channels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *