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Disturbances in the Force: El Nino & La Nina Ocean-Land Weather Relationship Disruptions

Disturbances in the Force: El Nino & La Nina Ocean-Land Weather Relationship Disruptions

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 08 August 2019




Weather Patterns Breaking Up

How the Pacific Ocean influences long-term drought in the Southwestern U.S.,
AGU Blog, August 5, 2019.


The Rule
"The general rule of thumb had been that El Niño years — when the sea surface in a region off the coast of Peru is at least 1 degree Celsius warmer than average — tend to have more rainfall, and La Niña years, when that region is 1 degree Celsius cooler than average, tend to have less rain. But that simple rule of thumb doesn’t always hold true."

2015: Driest Year in Ca History during Biggest El Nino seen…
"About 1 in 20 drought years could see an El Niño that doesn’t deliver rain."

Freak Years
"The recent 2015 winter was a case in point, and Parsons said that event helped inspire the new study. As 2015 shaped up to be an El Niño year, there was hope that it would end California’s drought. But the rain didn’t start to arrive until the following year."

Sparked a Study…
"The new study uses climate models to explore the relationship between the world’s largest ocean and long-term droughts in the Southwestern U.S., which includes California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and western Colorado and New Mexico."

2015 Was a Freak Year
"About 1 in 20 drought years could see an El Niño that doesn’t deliver rain."



El Nino-La Nina

Information, Resources

Tracking Graphic



Bottom Line

A Broken System
The weather on the West Coast has recently been flipping between historical extremes of wet and dry, between the flooding extremes of, "100 year storm (2017)," to the desert-like depths of our recent, "Hundred-Year Dry Year (2015)," with each extreme year separated from the other by the span of a single year.
This wild swing is indicative of a system dangerously out of balance, subject to continued very dangerous swings... happening as we've pushed our population far over our previous carrying capacity, once supported by, "normal," winter snowpacks and water, before this irresponsible growth itself has triggered and magnified these extreme weather and climate degradations that now threatens us all.

More Freak Weather
The largest El Nino in recorded history during 2015 brought the driest year in California's modern historical records, a record extending deep into the archaeological record. During 2017 we experienced a weak La Nina, which should have suppressed rainfall, during which we had the wettest year in the historical record.

Bad, Bad Omens
We are not only experiencing unprecedented opposite extremes of weather with unprecedented rapidity, but these extremes both happened against the typical behavior expected during the record dry year of 2015's massive El Nino, and the record wet year of 2017's La Nina.
These extremes are connected with the unprecedented behavior of the El Nino-La Nina cycle, and the appearance of, "The Blob," in the sense of their extreme breaking of the traditional relationship between the Equatorial Pacific and the Sierra. We are in new, uncharted territory created by our own changes to the shape of the atmosphere.

I believe the statistics derived by the research above are made of a system mildly impacted by the effects of man, while we are now living in a system dominated by, and rapidly changing under the impacts of man. The practical result of this difference will be that this anomolous weather behavior, of deep droughts during El Ninos and record precip during La Ninas, will happen with increasing frequency.

Extreme to Extreme
Very Rapidly
We can clearly see our weather system is unbalanced as it flops from one dangerous extreme, of extremely hot and dry, to the other dangerous extreme, of extreme rain and flooding, setting records first, for hot and dry conditions during 2015, then for wet and flooding during 2017. Each of these opposite historical weather extremes were both fully experienced over a very short three year span, composed of one bone dry year (2015), a year of 58% precip (2016), and the flood year of 2017.

Future Growth
In Quality, Not Quantity
These unprecedented weather extremes are clearly telling us that it's time for us Americans to hunker-down and stop our irresponsible growth here (and around the world), that's unbalanced our environment and our society. These extremes tell us that it's time we turn our attention towards repairing, rather than perpetuating the damage our last fifty years of irresponsible growth has already done to our natural environment, our social infrastructure, and our political and economic institutions.

Our taking a, "break," from endless population growth and the irresponsible economic growth accompanying it will serve to temper our ever-expanding assaults on Mother Nature, to give nature a chance to heal up, and the time necessary to let some more of these extreme consequences of our current irresponsible growth play out, so we can better assess just how badly we've already damaged our natural ecology (and society), before we add one more, "consumer," to a country that's already consumed much too much of the natural environment, and the natural resources that this country's character, ethic, and economic health are all based upon.

Future Freak Extreme Weather
Expect It, and expect it to, "Go Big."



El Nino/La Nina News & Research

Radical Changes: Bouncing Between the Anomalous Extremes of 2015 & 2017

400 Year El Nino Record Shows Dramatic Recent Increase in Frequency & Intensity

Global Warming News, Recent 2015 Huge El Nino: Shifted Global Temps into New Gear

El Nino & La Nina Research Reveals Deep Relationships


The Blob
2018 NOAA WEST COAST FISHERIES REPORT, & History of the Blob


Extreme Weather


Extreme Weather Increasing



Extreme Weather Increasing, Tropical Cyclones are Stalling More



A Second Scorching 2019 Heatwave in Europe

Grim News about The Future of the Great Northern Hemisphere Heat Wave of 2018




News of Man & Nature, August 2019








Nature News


Climate Destruction News



Bee News

Bear News

Spider Forum

Bird News

Small Mammals

Frogs and Reptiles

Butterfly News


Health and Fitness

Mountain Safety

Mosquito News

Female Trail

High Sierra History


Astro-Phys, Space, & Science News

High Sierra Geology News

Fish, Oceans, & Water News






climate change, news, El Nino, La Nina, behavior, weather effects, 2015, 2017


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