Has The Blob Returned?

In the wake of truly exceptional summer warmth and dryness in southern Alaska, and increasingly unusual ocean warmth farther south near the west coasts of Canada and the lower 48, there has been something of a revival of interest in North Pacific temperatures and specifically the so-called “Blob” pattern of ocean warmth that first made headlines back in 2014.  It’s therefore worth taking a look … Continue reading Has The Blob Returned?

Record North Pacific Warmth

In my last update way back in February, I highlighted a long-range NMME forecast suggesting that extraordinary warmth would develop by summer across much of the North Pacific Ocean.  Here’s the sea surface temperature (SST) forecast that caught my attention at the time: The forecast turned out to be fairly good, with the verification map (below) showing some distinct similarities to the forecast – particularly … Continue reading Record North Pacific Warmth

North Pacific Forecast

The past six months have been rather quiet for “blob watchers”, as the North Pacific temperature patterns have been mixed and variable.  The North Pacific Mode has been oscillating between negative and positive phases with some regularity, and the PDO did the same thing for the second half of 2017 before turning modestly positive so far this year.  It’s a bit unusual to have a … Continue reading North Pacific Forecast

Atmospheric Connection to the Blob

Last week a paper by Yu-Chiao Liang and co-authors was published in the Journal of Climate discussing the connection between North Pacific “blob” warming and atmospheric flow patterns spanning the North American continent from the North Pacific to the North Atlantic.  Among other interesting results, the authors showed that variations in sea surface temperatures in the “blob” region of the northeastern Pacific are rather closely … Continue reading Atmospheric Connection to the Blob

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?