Saturday, November 04, 2006

SST Axis of Evil Continues

Please see past postings for web site links. I am going to discontinue inserting most of them in an effort for brevity. I also need to do the same with these postings.

The spatial distribution of global tropical SST anomalies has not changed significantly during the past week or so, still resembling a mature warm event. Positive anomalies remain across the western Indian Ocean and along the equator from ~170E-South America with cool readings around Indonesia particularly south of the equator. There has been some warming of SSTs around Indonesia into the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea extending to just southeast of Asia, as well as northwest of Australia, with positive tendencies ~0.5-1.0C during the past week. The latter may be a direct result of solar input due to the strong convective suppression present there.

SST anomaly magnitudes as low as ~minus 2C remain just south of Indonesia on 3 November while ~plus 2C were observed just east of the equatorial date line and west of South America (keep in mind the seasonal cycle of SSTs). These positive SST anomalies are deep with plus 4C and greater observed at ~150m/165W per five-day averaged TAO buoy data ending 3 November. A recent surface westerly wind burst linked to the last MJO event appears to have initiated a down welling oceanic Kelvin wave currently approaching 160W along the equator.

The SST horse shoe pattern of cool surrounding warm anomalies (would be reversed for a cold event) across the tropical Indo-Pacific remains (axes of SST anomalies), and is best defined across the Southern Hemisphere with values ~minus 1-2C. Interestingly, there is anomalous SST warmth emanating from the Indian Ocean encasing the cool anomalies across both hemispheres including the extratropics.

Overall, the spatial coverage of above average global SSTs (tropics and extratropics) exceeds those which are cooler than normal. Much of the midlatitude South Pacific Ocean has below normal SSTs as a response to cooling from an intense baroclinic storm track since at least May 2006. It is my feeling that anomalous surface cross equatorial cool southerly flow from the deep southern extratropics into Indonesia starting around May 2006 linked to this storm track activity played a critical role to the evolution of our stochastically forced warm event. Please remember that in the tropics the SSTs generally force the atmosphere with the opposite for the extratropics (yes, everything understood).

SSTs of 30C and warmer cover much of the equatorial date line region while ~29-29.5C waters are present across the central Indian Ocean and around both sides of Central America. Weak positive SST anomalies cover most of the tropical Atlantic with actual temperatures ~28-29C. The warm ENSO conditions are here to stay for at least the next 3-6 months. It is now a matter of how the spatial patterns of the SSTs evolve, and no two warm events (or anything else that occurs in the coupled global ocean-atmosphere, etc. system) are alike. The predictability of these kinds of details on the seasonal time scale is noise, as are the weather impacts.

The following are links to ENSO discussions.

Please also see the following CPC link (and others therein) for further ENSO, etc., insights, and remember that official USA information on anything related to ENSO comes from CPC.

The dynamical signal with the MJO is all but gone. Per full disk satellite imagery and other tools enhanced tropical convective forcing remains most intense around 0/160E (OLRA~ minus 90W/m**2), with two other regions from Africa into the central Indian Ocean and the last from the Amazons and SACZ into the Atlantic ITCZ. The convection across the west central Pacific has been shifting west during the last week, weakly projecting onto a convectively coupled Rossby mode. Some consolidation of forcing is possible during the next couple of weeks north of Indonesia, and particular attention will need to be paid from the Bay of Bengal to the Philippines should this occur.

In general, as has been true since ~2002, it appears probable that we may have to deal with 2 regions of tropical convective forcing (and a weak, if any, MJO signal) again for this upcoming boreal winter, with the warm ENSO signal possibly dominating. I would expect to see coherent tropical convective forcing evolve and propagate east, but perhaps much faster than MJOs (Kelvin waves), and maybe other “MJO-like” behaviors (see our weather-climate discussions). Is the latter the result of a longer term trend such as global warming (what I termed as a “new world atmosphere” in past postings)?

Since about Halloween, tied to the past MJO, there has been fairly coherent poleward propagation of zonal mean zonal westerly wind anomalies with magnitudes up to 15m/s ~35N at 200mb during the past couple of days. Zonal mean upper tropospheric easterly wind anomalies have become dominate within 10 degrees of the equator during the past week (and also from ~45-60N). Global relative AAM has become slightly negative (~minus .5 sigma per operational data), with much of that coming from the global mountain torque of ~minus 15 Hadleys. I can attribute some of this as the result of anomalously low mean sea level pressures along the east slopes of north-south mountain ranges for both the tropics and extratropics impacted by the poleward propagation of the zonal mean anomalous westerlies discussed above. The reason is not only have these westerlies been propagating poleward, but also downward through the troposphere, eventually reaching the surface. There have also been complex interactions with much faster time scales such as the mid-latitude eddies that have subsequently impacted the tropical convection (which has also contributed to recent lowering of mean sea level pressures across the deep tropics).

In terms of the tropical forcing and AAM budget, GSDM Stage 4 may best describe the current situation. However, as shown by the ESRL/PSD animations of both 150mb and 250mb daily mean vector wind anomalies, with magnitudes of roughly 15-30m/s, twin tropical/subtropical cyclones cover much of the Indian Ocean while anticyclones rule over the central Pacific centered around the date line. Centered ~40N, a large anomalous cyclonic gyre covers much of the North Pacific Ocean basin supporting enhanced westerlies ~30-35N (consistent with the poleward propagation discussed above). In fact, a weekly average of 150mb vector wind anomalies ending 4 November suggests a coherent residual of Rossby wave energy dispersion linked to the west central Pacific tropical forcing arcing to a blocking pattern across the North Atlantic (which would project onto a reverse NAO and explain some of the current zonal mean anomalous higher latitude easterly flow). Thus in terms of the actual global circulation GSDM Stage 3 may apply (suggesting split flow across North America).

This kind of response can be expected from a warm ENSO, and may be a pre-cursor to the type of circulation pattern for this upcoming boreal winter. For the USA, during the past week we have seen precipitation increase along the west coast from northern California to Alberta (yes, Canada) while much of the rest of the country has turned warmer and dryer. Back to the GSDM, I would offer Stages 3-4 for the current situation.

To summarize, I think we have 1) a warm event (plus a global warming signal whose cause is unclear?), 2) an increasing role of the Indian Ocean SSTs, 3) the MJO signal which has become very weak, 4) 20-30 day tropical convective variability (not discussed), 5) some evidence of mountain-frictional torque index cycle variations (also not discussed – may be linked to (4)), fast RWDs, baroclinic wave packets and all sorts of other white noise, and 6) seasonal cycle issues.

As stated above, we may be seeing an early November rendition of an expanded East Asian Jet (EAJ). There are countless sensitivity issues discussed in past postings and weather-climate discussions. I also did not discuss how our GSDM Stage 3 (like?) circulation may have come about over the past week due to complexity. Short story is that in addition to the tropical forcing discussed above, tied to East Asian baroclinic wave packets, there was also a flare-up if convection around the Philippines (Tropical Northwest Pacific) that led to former Super Typhoon Cimarron. This forcing also added westerly flow. With that convection “gone” and at least some consolidation (see above) by around week 2, I think the North Pacific Jet will retract. This is just one of the sensitivity matters the current numerical models are struggling with in terms of predictions.

During this upcoming week, a split flow pattern should remain across the country. Most of the precipitation looks to occur along the west coast (mainly Pacific Northwest) and eventually across the Deep South. The latter will depend on just how much baroclinic development occurs along the southern westerlies. Whatever the case may be, a cold air source looks to be lacking.

For weeks 2-3, GSDM Stage 1 may evolve, meaning a full latitude trough with an Arctic cold air source (monitoring does show some recent build up – recall where the blocks are) would become increasingly probable for the western half of the country. There may also be an active subtropical jet tied to the warm ENSO. This would be a very active weather regime (including possible high-impact events such as blizzard conditions and severe local storms) for this time of year across a good part of the country (including a southwest flow storm track across the middle). I think the readers are familiar what the weather would be from all this.

Work is on-going to write another weather-climate discussion for the ESRL/PSD MJO web page. Since it would be ideal to have this discussion posted before attending the 4-8 December 2006 THORPEX meeting in Germany, it will be difficult for me to do these postings weekly. Please keep checking, and see the Appendix.


The following is a link to our MWR paper that discusses the GSDM (Weickmann and Berry 2006, in press).

From taking into consideration the interactions of 4 different subseasonal time scales, a sequence of maps depicting a coherent set of repeatable events has been derived for the Northern Hemisphere cold season from November-March. This set is broken up into 4 stages, referred to as GSDM (for Global Synoptic-Dynamic Model) Stages 1-4 in the text of my Blog. Figure 13 in our paper presents a schematic of the GSDM. Ideally it would be advantageous to post our weather-climate discussions with greater frequency to provide additional detail while having a more complete weather-climate record of attribution and prediction. In these discussions I adapt the GSDM for the warm season. Our list of work includes a seasonally adjusted rendition of the GSDM.

Our latest weather-climate discussion dated August 18th, 2006 (and updated September 9th), has been posted on the ESRL/PSD MJO web site at

Ed Berry


TWV said...

Great site dude. I enjoy your posts, and this is a great resource. I posted a link to this site, here, as you have some very nice posts on this blog. Thanks again, and keep up the good work. Oh btw, what do you think this winter season is going to be like?

Anonymous said...


You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.
As soon as we acknowledge
this Supreme Designer/Architect,
Who has erected the beauteous
fabric of the universe, our minds
must necessarily be ravished with
wonder at His infinate goodness,
wisdom and power.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Here's what remarkable men
have asseverated about the
world's bestseller:

"I believe the Bible is the best gift
God has ever given to man. All
the good from the Savior of the
world is communicated to us
through this book."
-- President Abraham Lincoln

"For we must consider that we shall
be as a City upon a hill. The eyes of
all people are upon us. So that if we
shall deal falsely with our God in this
work we have undertaken, and so
cause Him to withdraw his present
help from us, we shall be made a
story and a byword throughout the
world." --John Winthrop, Governor
of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1630

"It is impossible to rightly govern the
world without God and the Bible."
- President George Washington

"The Bible is no mere book, but a Living
Creature, with a power that conquers
all that oppose it." - Napoleon

"That Book accounts for the supremacy
of England." - Queen Victoria

"If there is anything in my thought or
style to commend, the credit is due my
parents for instilling in me an early
love of the Scriptures. If we abide by
the principals taught in the Bible, our
country will go on prospering and to
prosper; but if we and our posterity
neglect its instructions and authority,
no man can tell how sudden a
catastrophe may overwhelm us and
bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
- Daniel Webster (Founding Father)

"The Bible is worth all other books which
have ever been printed." - Patrick Henry
(original member of the Continental Congress)

"The Bible is the anchor of our liberties."
- President U.S. Grant

"It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially
a Bible-reading people. The principals of the
Bible are the groundwork of human freedom."
- Horace Greeley (Editor)

"That Book is the rock on which our Republic
rests." - President Andrew Jackson

"In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible
has never failed to give me light and strength."
- Gen. Robert E. Lee

"Bible reading is an education in itself."
- Lord Tennyson (Poet)

"So great is my veneration for the Bible that the
earlier my children begin to read it the more
confident will be my hope that they will prove
useful citizens of their country and respectable
members of society. I have formany years made
it a practice to read through the Bible once
every year." - President John Quincy Adams

"The existence of the Bible, as a Book for the
people, is the greatest benefit which the human
race has ever experienced. Every attempt to
belittle it is a crime against humanity."
- Immanuel Kant (Philosopher)

"The New Testament is the very best Book that
ever or ever will be known in the world."
- Charles Dickens (Author)

"All human discoveries seem to be made only
for the purpose of confirming more and more
strongly the truths contained in the Sacred
Scriptures." - Sir William Herschel (Astronomer)

"There are more sure marks of authenticity
in the Bible than in any profane history."
- Sir Isaac Newton (Scientist)

"Let mental culture go on advancing,
let the natural sciences progress in
even greater extent and depth, and
the human mind widen itself as much
as it desires; beyond the elevation
and moral culture of Christianity, as
it shines forth in the Gospels, it will
not go." - Goethe (Author)

"I have known ninety-five of the world's
great men in my time, and of these eight-
seven were followers of the Bible. The
Bible is stamped with a Specialty of Origin,
and an immeasurable distance separates
it from all competitors."
- W.E. Gladstone (Prime Minister)

"Whatever merit there is in anything that
I have written is simply due to the fact that
when I was a chile my mother daily read
me a part of the Bible and daily made me
learn a part of it by heart." - John Ruskin
(art critic and social commentator)

"The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the
poor and oppressed. The human race is not
in a position to dispense with it." - Thomas
Huxley (Author & Scientist)

"The whole hope of human progress is
suspended on the ever growing influence
of the Bible." - W.H. Seward (Secretary of State)

"America was born a Christian nation. America
was born to exemplify that devotion to the
elements of righteousness, which are derived
from the revelations of Holy Scriptures. Part
of the destiny of Americans lies in their daily
perusal of this great book of revelations.
That if they would see America free and
pure they will make their own spirits free
and pure by this baptism of the Holy Spirit."
--President Woodrow Wilson

For Christians, the life and death of Jesus
are the ultimate expressions of love, and
the supreme demonstrations of God's
mercy, faithfulness, and redemption.
Since Christ's miraculous Resurrection
on Easter, more than 2,000 years ago,
Christians have expressed joy and
gratitude for this wondrous sacrifice
and for God's promise of freedom for
the oppressed, healing for the broken -
hearted, and salvation. --President
George W. Bush

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly
or too often that this great nation was
founded, not by religionists, but by
Christians; not on religions, but on
the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this
very reason peoples of other faiths
have been afforded asylum, prosperity,
and freedom of worship here."
--Patrick Henry (original member
of the Continental Congress)

God designed humans to want to
believe in something. That's the
image of God that is in us. But as
G. K. Chesterton famously put it,
when we reject the God of the
Bible, we don't believe in nothing;
we believe in everything -- including
Little Green Men. - - Chuck Colson

I am trying here to prevent anyone from
saying the really foolish thing that people
often say about Jesus Christ: "I'm ready
to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher,
but I don't accept His claim to be God."

That is the one thing we must not say.
A man who was merely a man and said
the sort of things Jesus said would not be
a great moral teacher. He would either be
a lunatic -- on a level with a man who says
he is a poached egg -- or else he would be
the Devil of Hell.

You must make your choice. Either this Man
was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman
or something worse .... You can shut Him up
for fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a
demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him
Lord and God. But let us not come up with any
patronizing nonsense about His being a great
human teacher. He has not left that option
open to us. He did not intend to. -- From
Case for Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

"Let every student be plainly instructed and
earnestly pressed to consider well the main
end of his life and studies is to know God
and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John
17:3)." - - - The Laws and Statutes of
Harvard College in 1643

"All scholars shall live religious, godly,
and blameless lives according to the rules
of God's Word, diligently reading the Holy
Scriptures, the fountain of light and truth;
and constantly attend upon all the duties
of religion, both in public and secret."
- - - Two central requirements in Yale
College 1745 charter

If you stop believing what your professor
told you had to be true and if you start
thinking for yourself you may come to some
conclusions you hadn't expected. You may
find the Bible makes more sense than you
thought or were told to think. Allow yourself
to be ruined, ruined with regard to what you
always thought could be true. Can you believe
what you don't understand? You and I believe
everyday what we don't understand unless it
comes to the issue of salvation.
- - - Dr. Woodrow Kroll

There is simply no historic foundation for the
position that the Framers intended to build the
'wall of separation' that was constitutionalized
in Everson. The 'wall of separation between
church and state' is a metaphor based on bad
history, a metaphor which has proved useless
as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and
explicitly abandoned. - - - Chief Justice of
the US Supreme Court, William Rehnquist

In 1796 the US Supreme Court issued this
ruling, "By our form of government, the
Christian religion is the established religion,
and all sects and denominations of Christians
are placed on equal footing." Some 57 years
later, after Congress was petitioned to separate
Christian principles from government, in 1853
the House Judiciary Committee issued their
formal report, including these words: "In this
age there is no substitute for Christianity.
This was the religion of the founders of the
republic, and they expected it to be the
religion of their dependents. The great vital,
conservative elements in our system is the
belief of our people in the pure doctrines
and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus
Christ." - - - Dr. Gerald Beavan

"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men,
to own their dependence upon the overruling
power of God and to recognize the sublime
truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and
proven by all history, that those nations only
are blessed whose God is the Lord."
-- President Abraham Lincoln

Trust in yourself and you are doomed to
disappointment; trust in money and you
may have it taken from you; but trust in
God, and you are never to be confounded
in time or eternity. - D.L. Moody

Faith and love are apt to be spasmodic
in the best of minds. Men and women live
on the brink of mysteries and harmonies
into which they never enter and with their
hand on the doorlatch they die outside.
- - GK Chesterton

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Whoami

P.S. Here's some blogs that I found
of interest
as I negotiated my way
through cyberspace:

Every Student
Religion Comparison
Around the Well
Danish Cartoons
Arabic Cartoons
Muhammad or Jesus???
Answering Islam
Is Jesus God?
A Short Look At Six World Religions
God's Word in different languages...
How to become a Christian
Who Is Jesus?
See The Word
Watch The Jesus Movie
Spanish Cartoons
German Cartoons
Chinese Cartoons
Italian Cartoons
Greek Cartoons
Japanese Cartoons
Portuguese Cartoons
French Cartoons
Hindi Cartoons
Russian Cartoons
'Thought & Humor'

Only one of these is amalgamated with me -
can you determine which one??? Tell me
sometime what your thoughts are about
all this:O)