Many news outlets are releasing articles stating that all forecasters got El Nino wrong and not one got it right. However the truth is one got it right so read on for those details …
The one who got it right was here at Southern California Weather Force. A Super El Nino was forecast to develop, however Southern California did not beat Northern California in terms of where the main bulk of the Pineapple Express was hitting. Just because Southern California did not see the impacts does not mean it was not an El Nino. The entire country had warmer than average temperatures. We had less snow in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic as well. The atmosphere responded to El Nino across the entire United States … except Southern California.
Forecasters were not wrong in saying it would be a Super El Nino. It was … by numbers in the ocean. Many in Southern California thought it was wrong because it did not affect the area like other strong El Ninos. Back in Fall 2015 I released an article stating that the bulk of the precipitation and Pineapple Express flow would hit Northern California, where we need it… and that Northern California would see far more than us in Southern California.
However, apparently the ‘greatest’ climatologist couldn’t follow suit at JPL … Bill Patzert said we would have more than anywhere else and that by the end of the season we would be using boats to travel down our streets. What kind of language is that? I have said it for years that Patzert’s 80% accuracy rate is because he will go drier than average if it isn’t an El Nino and wetter if it is. We’ve seen wet La Ninas and Neutral conditions as well. Him going overboard with this just solidifies how correct I am in calling him out every year. Traditionally Southern California will see 8 dry winters out of 10 years so it is no wonder he has a high accuracy rate … you predict dry all those years and still be correct. We ARE A DESERT! … I will always say time and time again that Patzert has no clue what he is talking about and that all outlets need to stop using him as a source. He is the one who scared people with ‘Godzilla El Nino’ … If these ‘media outlets’ want to retain credibility they would start going with the Southern California Weather Force long range …
Now, back to why I thought Northern California would get more than Southern California. The waters were still very warm off the coast. It was either going to fuel the storms that came in … or block the storms and deflect most of the energy northeast into Northern California. This was the Martin El Nino Anomaly. This surface high was sitting over the warmer water due west about 600 miles from our coast. It deflected storms northeast and/or dried out the fronts as they hit that zone … ultimately giving us far less rainfall than our neighbor to the north, which received more than enough to dent the drought.
All and all El Nino did hit according to what it stands for … the warming of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean waters. That is a fact. 90% of the United States had El Nino conditions.
We are now heading down into a La Nina and currently at a Weak El Nino. This trend slope will bring well above normal temperatures this summer.