Mar 2015 SW Climate Podcast: Winter Weather Summary, Polar Opposites & El Niño Finally Arrives


In the March Southwest Climate Podcast, Zack Guido is back from his world travels (for work!) and joins Mike Crimmins to discuss SW climate, including winter precipitation, snowpack, and temperature reports so far. They also dive into the "warm in the west, cold in the east" pattern, and talk jetstream, polar vortex, and digging troughs as it pertains to SW weather patterns. Next up is the (finally arriving!) El Niño, which is a bit late, and a bit weak, but there are interesting aspects of this year to consider looking into the next year, especially the persistent ridge that has helped drive the patterns of the past few months. Finally they wrap up by looking into next year regarding what's left of winter, and what 2015 may have in store.

Intro 0:00
Climate Summary: Precipitation in the SW (variable), Snowpack (very low), Warm temps and low snow, Drought still going strong (especially in CA), Temperature reports (record or near record temps across the west) 1:30
Polar Opposites: The "dipole" - warm in the west - cold in the east - pattern we've seen - Jetstream, Polar Vortex, and Digging Troughs - impact on SW weather 7:30
What's going on with El Niño this year?: We finally get El Niño (a weak one), but what do we make of it finally (and weakly) arriving? Limited effects expected (or experienced so far) in the SW. 11:50
Persistent Ridge: Pacific Ocean temperatures, jetstream patterns, and tropical convection - Thinking about El Niño pre-cursors and moving towards a more typical El Niño - but this is an unusual case (even exciting!) - and how does this relate to the Arctic Oscillation 15:00
El Niño and SST into Next Year?: Ocean/Atmosphere may be too late for this year and hard to predict...but with ENSO precursors and additional Kelvin Waves - might not be done with El Niño 24:00
Looking Forward: What's left for the winter? (not too much), and the drought/streamflow forecasts are not very optimistic, but there is still time for a few good winter storms, but with a weak El Niño event, uncertain what we'll see in the next 30-60 days. 25:30

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Suggested Source/Citation:

CLIMAS: Climate Assessment for the Southwest, (2015).Mar 2015 SW Climate Podcast: Winter Weather Summary, Polar Opposites & El Niño Finally Arrives [podcast] CLIMAS Southwest Climate Podcast. Available at: [Date Accessed]

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The Southwest Climate Podcast