Apr 2016 CLIMAS SW Climate Podcast - An Exceptional El Niño - (For all the "Wrong" Reasons?)


In the early April edition of the CLIMAS Southwest Climate Podcast, Mike Crimmins and Zack Guido look back at our exceptional El Niño event, which may be standing out for all the wrong reasons - especially in the Southwest. They discuss the anomalously warm and dry conditions the Southwest has experienced since early January; and put these conditions into context regarding our expectations in a strong El Niño year, what might be driving these patterns (and the moisture away from us), and just where that moisture has gone. They also discuss the similarities of the current precipitation pattern to La Niña (i.e. dry in the Southwest and wet in the Northwest) but highlight how this event is very different from La Niña associated atmospheric patterns (even if the precipitation patterns feel like a La Niña year). They also point out that while we're not in a La Niña yet..but forecasts call for much higher chances of a swing to La Niña by fall of this year. They also look forward to the rest of the spring, including the last gasp of moisture the second week of April, and what this underwhelming El Niño might mean for regional drought, snowpack, and wildfire conditions.

We'll be back near the end of April with another podcast episode that takes a more comprehensive look at just how this El Niño event compared to expectations (models and forecasts), and what we've learned from this event.

Audio file

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The Southwest Climate Podcast