Just got a copy of the weekly flyer from NOAA and the news could be good. At least the part about this winter’s El Nino projections for San Diego and Southern California.  The guys who do this for a living have issued their Preliminary Fall and Winter Outlook this past week and here are the highlights:

“High confidence of El Nino conditions (sea surface temperatures above normal) in the equatorial Pacific Ocean which would bring a moderate El Nino (Oceanic Nino Index of +1) episode for winter 2012-13

These conditions can begin to impact the atmosphere (storm track as early as the Fall of 2012), with the primary impact November to May

El Nino conditions can produce more weather events with an elongated extended Pacific Jet stream (storm track) which can bring more frequent storms to southern California (more precipitation events but not necessarily flooding.)”

Of course, there is no slam dunk certainty on these conditions and the report says as much:

“Past El Nino years have brought considerable variability in seasonal precipitation in Southern California (some were below normal precipitation or dry seasonal conditions despite El Nino)

Strong El Nino (as measured by Oceanic Nino Index) have a much better correlation to wet winters

Heavy precipitation events can occur any year (regardless of El Nino)”

In conclusion, the report anticipates a “slight increase in chances for an ABOVE normal precipitation year in Southern California.” In fact, for the three-month outlook, they are projecting a 40 percent chance of above normal rainfall.

You gotta like those odds.



2 Responses to “Meteorological odds tipping in our favor?”

Crossing my fingers for a lot of rain this coming season. Our lakes need filling.

by George Kramer

I’m with you, Darlene, and especially critical for the “natural” lake across the street.