In “El Nino forecasts are climbing” (KPRC’s, 17May2023), Frank Billingsley and Amanda Cochran write:

“By the end of the year, the European Model has at the very least a moderate El Nino with perhaps an extreme one.

“What can we learn from any of this? Get flood insurance. I’m not being flip. The extreme El Nino of 2014-2016 was when Texas experienced devastating floods and, locally, we had the 2015 Memorial Day flood and 2016 Tax Day flood. History is a very good teacher.”

In ” ‘Potentially significant’ El Niño to begin by summer” (, 15May2023), Nick Bannin writes:

“Notable warming of the waters in the eastern equatorial Pacific has further increased the likelihood that El Niño will begin by late spring or early summer.

“The odds of El Niño being in place for next winter are now up to 93%.

“El Niño is the warm phase of the climate pattern known as ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation). For the last three winters we’ve been in the cool phase of ENSO known as La Niña.

“Assuming we’re in some form of El Niño next winter, that typically means a warmer Pacific Northwest, wetter in the south, southwest and coastal southeast with drier weather in the interior southeast. Cooler weather is also more likely for the south and southeast.

“The next analysis of ENSO from the Climate Prediction Center will be released June 8.”

In “Will it be a wet or dry summer? Weather service weighs in on El Nino in North Texas” (Fort Worth Star Telegram, 9May2023), Megan Cardona writes:

“The first day of summer is June 21, but North Texans are already feeling the heat in early May.

“Since May 4, temperatures in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have reached highs in the mid to upper 80s with the warmest day of the month on May 5 at 96 degrees.

“Patricia Sanchez, National Weather Service meteorologist, said this time of year has been unseasonably warm due to warm air coming from the south and southwest.

“While temperatures have not reached record breaking numbers, Sanchez said the warm air has caused humid conditions which makes it feel warmer.

“The weather pattern La Nina — which contributed to drought conditions in Texas — ended earlier this year after an uncharacteristic three years. Now the Dallas-Fort Worth area is in a transitional period in preparation for El Nino.

“During El Nino conditions, sea surface temperatures face positive changes which leads to cooler and wetter conditions than normal.

“The end of La Nina earlier this year entered North Texas into a neutral period until El Nino.

“The National Weather Service Climate Predication Center announced in April that neutral conditions were expected to continue through spring with a 62 percent chance of El Nino developing from May through July.

“Typically El Nino means a wetter season for areas like Texas, California and Florida, Sanchez said.

“The outlook for May forecasts a wetter season than usual; storms are in the forecast for the Dallas-Fort Worth area this week due to a storm system moving through the Gulf Coast.”

In “May 2023 ENSO update: El Niño knocking on the door” (, 11Mar2023), Nat Johnson writes:

“The tropical Pacific sure knows how to get out of a rut! Just two months after declaring the demise of an almost interminable La Niña, above-average surface temperatures have reclaimed the tropical Pacific, and temperatures in the central-eastern Pacific are expected to continue to rise. Consequently, an El Niño Watch remains in place, with El Niño conditions likely to develop within the next couple of months and then persisting (greater than 90% chance) into the winter.

“We care about the potential development of El Niño—the warm phase of ENSO (El Niño/Southern Oscillation, the whole El Niño-La Niña system)—because of the cascade of global impacts that arise from its occurrence, including the expected temperature and precipitation patterns shown here. We’ll revisit many of these impacts in the coming months, but we’ll start by focusing on all the details of these rapidly developing conditions in the tropical Pacific.

“When we zoom into the weekly time frame, we find that the latest Niño-3.4 measurement from our highest-resolution dataset (OISSTv2.1) was 0.4 °C above the long-term average, even higher than the latest monthly average. This is just a mere 0.1 °C away from the 0.5 °C threshold that is necessary (but not sufficient!) for declaring El Niño conditions. Subsurface ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific also increased over the past month, providing a source of warmer water that can sustain a developing El Niño. How can La Niña seem like a distant memory so quickly?

“Although the tropical Pacific Ocean looks ready to burst through that door to El Niño, the tropical atmosphere seems a bit more hesitant, remaining firmly in ENSO-neutral territory. As in March, the April Southern Oscillation Index and the Equatorial Southern Oscillation Index were close to zero, indicating that the Walker circulation remains at near-average strength. For El Niño conditions, we would expect negative values of these indexes, which would indicate (1) a weakening in the surface pressure difference that normally exists between the western and central-eastern Pacific and (2) a reduction of the east-to-west surface trade winds that are the key component of the Walker circulation. (For La Niña conditions, we get the opposite – positive index values indicating a strengthened Walker circulation and stronger east-to-west trade winds across the tropical Pacific Ocean.)”

Image from “El Nino forecasts are climbing” (KPRC’s, 17May2023) by Frank Billingsley and Amanda Cochran.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *