Buresh Blog

Buresh Blog: Dry!... NOAA declares El Nino is over

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Talking the Tropics With Mike” - updated every day through Nov. 30th.

Dry, dry, dry! Our “wet season” is on hold with no widespread rain anytime real soon. Jacksonville/NE Fl. & SE Ga. sees more than half their annual rainfall from June through September due to frequent showers & storms thanks to the sea breeze + some input - typically - from the tropics. The average start date for the wet season is June 1st but, of course, there’s no automatic “switch” & the starting date of the wet season can be as early as May but as late as July. Last year’s start date was May 21st (at least 3 straight days with more than half of NE Fl./SE Ga. receiving measurable rainfall *not* caused by a front or some other organized low pressure system [rain not synoptically-driven is the meteorological term]). But the rainy season waited until July 1st in 2022!

Another contributing factor related to how quickly grasses & landscaping have succumbed to the dry conditions is how wet our winter & early spring were. Jacksonville had its wettest Nov.-January on record above average rainfall continued through March. So plants & yards were flourishing with a healthy water table that was near the surface only to suddenly find it dry resulting in a quick decline once plants had to adjust to a lower water table. We are also at the peak of our longest days, so long sunny days results in a lot of evaporation.

A good part of the reason for our wet winter & early spring was an El Nino (warming of the equatorial Pacific). NOAA has officially declared the El Nino over. The forecast now is for a developing La Nina by the peak of the hurricane season which is why forecasts are for an active season as a La Nina often results in lower wind shear across the Atlantic which can lead to more hurricane activity. The sea surface temp. anomalies chart below shows the cooler water already evident off the coast of South America.

The chart below is the ENSO probability forecast showing the likelihood of La Nina conditions developing.

Individual model plots are just about unanimous in showing the formation of a La Nina:

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