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Weather Wise March 2023

published: March 3rd 2023
by: Brian Bledsoe
source: Southern Livestock Standard


Goodbye La Niña



The map below shows sea surface temperature anomalies.



The La Niña is fading quite rapidly, despite some blue shading along the central equatorial Pacific Ocean. If you look at the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, the water is rapidly warming off the west coast of South America. That is a sign that the transition from La Niña to neutral conditions is certainly occurring. It is also my belief that the transition to neutral will be a short one, before we start ramping up toward an El Niño. 



The other piece of the puzzle is what happens with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation...PDO. Well, here is a look at how we've fared in the past year.



While it is still firmly negative/cold, it warmed quite a bit from December to January. I anticipate further warming as we head into spring...especially, since La Niña is fading away. As I've always said, it is really important for the La Niña to go away and for the PDO to warm. Historically, this is what facilitates a pattern that rids us of long-term drought. When do I think we could be in full fledged El Niño? It is tough to say, but here is the latest trend from all of the models that look at such things. All of the models are shown, with La Niña on the left and El Niño on the right. Neutral lies in the middle...



Some of the models are pretty aggressive in taking us into El Niño by June and July. That could perhaps be a little soon, but the trend is certainly there. Now the disclaimer...this doesn't imply immediate and long-term relief for everyone. We really have to see how the pattern changes and evolves. 


Long range models:


NMME Model Precipitation Forecast March - May and May - July:














EURO Seaonal Model Precipitation Forecast March- May and May-July




Both of the models really don't show a stout dry signal at any particular time. The NMME is a little drier in the spring, but relaxes that dry signal shortly thereafter. There is some thinking that March and some of April could be dry, before May opens it up a bit. However, I think the farther south and west you live, the more "drier than average" potential you have and vice versa for the farther north and east you live… However, the pattern we are likely to enter will certainly be better overall for the region, than what we’ve been dealing with for the past couple of years.




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