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
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)
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
Published in the September 2016 issue of the National Geographic. “The Blob That Cooked the Pacific” “When a deadly patch of warm water shocked the West Coast, some feared it was a preview of our future oceans.” Continue reading National Geographic Article on the Blob and El Nino
I asked Nate Mantua of NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center to comment on the 1977 California Drought event in relation to the more recent “Blob” event of 2013. “The 1977 drought is very well known in the Pacific climate research community, and in the water resources world in CA-OR-WA because it was so extreme. Like our recent west coast drought, the proximate cause was a remarkably … Continue reading How does the 1977 climate event and related California drought of that period compare to the “Blob” event from 2013?
Those who follow North Pacific temperature patterns closely are well aware that the past summer brought a dramatic expansion of above-normal temperatures at the ocean surface across the northern North Pacific Ocean, reversing the cold anomalies that developed last winter during the strong El Niño episode. The two maps below illustrate the change, based on OIv2 SST data. The late winter pattern was very characteristic … Continue reading Subsurface Conditions
The latest on the Blob and the prediction of impact on Alaska’s winter 2016-17. Read the story here. Continue reading “Warm-water Blob actually never went away”