Brett Anderson

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El Nino or Not?

June 25, 2012; 3:11 PM ET

I just got back from another soccer weekend at the beach for my daughter's travel team. This time they played on the hot sand, which really takes a lot out of them after three games in four hours under the intense afternoon sun.

My plan for the six-hour drive down to Ocean City, Md., this past Friday was to leave early enough to avoid the thunderstorms that we expected ahead of the front. Unfortunately, about 30 miles from our destination the sea-breeze boundary triggered a cluster of rapidly forming thunderstorms right overhead and it started to hail on the car. Luckily, there was no damage, and by the time we reached the beach, the storms were over. The weather the rest of the weekend was good.

Before I get to the El Nino stuff, an unusually strong upper-low will sit over New England through tomorrow. The southerly influx of moist air on the eastern side of the low will direct moderate to heavy rainfall into parts of Atlantic Canada and Quebec through Wednesday with localized flooding. The map shows the potential rainfall through Wednesday....


Latest update on potential El Nino

I just read over the latest El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) technical update (mid-June) from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). Here are some of the key points from their analysis....

1. No signs of El Nino right now based on current observations of wind and rainfall in and around the equatorial Pacific, though water temperature anomalies are generally increasing.

2. All models predict neutral ENSO conditions into most if not all the summer.

3. Model consensus indicates a transition to weak El Nino by late August or September.

4. Most dynamical models predict weak to moderate El Nino conditions this fall then weak El Nino conditions by winter.

5. Most statistical models keep near-neutral to weak El Nino conditions the rest of 2012.

Below is the latest model ensemble forecast for ENSO through the rest of the year. Since December 2011, the IRI's definition of El Niño conditions began following that of NOAA/Climate Prediction Center, in which the SST anomaly in the NINO3.4 region (5S-5N; 170W-120W) exceeds 0.45 C. Similarly, for La Niña, the anomaly must be -0.45 C or less.

Image courtesy of IRI.


What type of impact would a weak El Nino have on the Canadian winter?

Statistically, this is what Canada can expect strictly based on previous winters with weak El Ninos. Images courtesy of Environment Canada.....

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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About This Blog

Brett Anderson
Brett Anderson covers both short-term and long-term weather and storm forecasts for Canada in this blog for