You're not the only one wondering if we will see El Niño grow or continue into this coming winter 2015. How useful are March winds and subsurface temperatures across the tropical Pacific Ocean in predicting winter El Niño or La Niña states?
Mike Halpert from the Climate Prediction Center grades the winter forecast. Temperature outlooks fared quite well, but precipitation forecasts were not that great. The mediocre precipitation scores were partly because forecasts were counting on tropical atmospheric responses to El Niño, which didn’t emerge until late in the season.
Guest blogger Dennis Hartmann makes the case that warm waters in the western tropical Pacific—part of the North Pacific Mode climate pattern—are behind the weird U.S. winter weather of the past two seasons.