The Blob in Hibernation

It’s been about five months now since the North Pacific Mode, a useful measure of the “Blob” spatial pattern, turned negative.  Cooler than normal sea surface temperatures across the northern North Pacific (but south of the Bering Sea) kept the NPM in the negative phase all winter, and the December-February average of the NPM index was the lowest since 2000-2001. Here’s a recent weekly SST … Continue reading The Blob in Hibernation

Could the high sea surface temperatures experienced during the recent “Blob” event of the past few years become a view into the future?

This week is the Alaska Marine Science Symposium. Many talks referred to the “Blob” and it’s aftermath. Yereth Rosen of ADN wrote this story on a Keynote address by Nick Bond, who gave an overview of the Blob and what we have learned about its impact, providing some clues to what a future warmer ocean may mean. Continue reading Could the high sea surface temperatures experienced during the recent “Blob” event of the past few years become a view into the future?

Glacier Bay Monitoring Program reveals possible Blob related temperature effects later than other areas in the Gulf of Alaska

“…..Glacier Bay didn’t strongly “feel” The Blob in the first couple summers after its onset (2014-2015). But last year’s El Nino seems to have exacerbated ocean warming, and at least in the main lower trunk of Glacier Bay mid-summer water temperatures have been significantly warmer in 2016.” For more on this story, visit NPS Glacier Bay. Continue reading Glacier Bay Monitoring Program reveals possible Blob related temperature effects later than other areas in the Gulf of Alaska

Dramatic Changes in Recent Weeks

Just a few weeks ago I highlighted the return to a strongly positive phase of the North Pacific Mode (NPM), caused by persistent high pressure over the northeastern Pacific Ocean during summer.  Well, it didn’t last long.  The circulation pattern has undergone a dramatic reversal, with numerous strong storms across the North Pacific, and sea surface temperatures have dropped precipitously in the “blob” region.  The … Continue reading Dramatic Changes in Recent Weeks

How do the excessively warm sea surface conditions of 2013-16 compare to the past? (1926)

Since mid-2013 Alaska has been excessively warm, and this has been most emphatically the case over the western Gulf of Alaska, Alaska Peninsula and the Bering Sea regions. But how does this compare to the past? For the first half of the 20th century, 1926 stands out as the warmest calendar year in Alaska.  This is apparent when looking at the available station data as … Continue reading How do the excessively warm sea surface conditions of 2013-16 compare to the past? (1926)

Rick Thoman: 2016 is globally the 2nd warmest October on record

This image comes from Richard James at Prescient Weather. It shows the  standardized sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies for October 2016. According to Brian Brettschneider’s rankings, this is globally the second warmest October (behind only last year). Given that last year we had a full-blown El Nino underway and this year, we have a weak La Nina (Aug-Sep-Oct ONI Index at -0.7), the fact that … Continue reading Rick Thoman: 2016 is globally the 2nd warmest October on record