Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WINTER SEASON 2015/16 - ENTERING SOLAR MINIMUM

The emerging sleep of-the-Sun, with only three (3) identified sunspots visible on the solar disk as of 
November 25, 2015.  
Originally prepared: November 23, 2015 (Facebook timeline-post) 
I would like to talk about El Niño, that has made significant headlines in the media. El Niño "The Boy", which is an unusual warming of Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies, is NOT basin wide through the equatorial Pacific Ocean. In fact close observation shows there is NO comparison to the 1997/98 super El Niño, as this particular event is *Central-to-West-based and NOT basin wide or East-based. This means the warming of SST anomalies over the Pacific is concentrated from the International Dateline, points east to the *Central / North American continent.
A *Central-to-West-based El Niño will in-fact encourage an energized sub-tropical jet-stream but ridging (above normal heights) over western North America due to the area of above normal SST's concentrated through the eastern Pacific, that will tend to encourage troughing (below normal heights) over eastern North America.
What is the foundation of the 2015/16 Winter season?
1. Solar Minimum / High Latitude Blocking - it's very important to consider that we are now entering a solar minimum following the 9-11 year sunspot cycle. The Sun has been averaging 20 daily events or less (in-terms of sunspot activity on the solar disk) since November 7, 2014, and is currently at 15 daily events as of November 20, 2015. Through the majority of absent New England Winter's of the 1990's, the Sun was averaging 40-100 daily events, throwing back a moderate to high frequency of ultraviolet (UV) rays on-the-Earth. The higher frequency of ultraviolet (UV) rays acts to deplete ozone and in-return allows for pronounced cooling of the pole's stratosphere, with the Polar Vortex (PV) almost never splitting to influence middle latitudes of-the-Earth. Strongly taking into consideration current solar activity, lends hand to the highly cyclical 9-11 year (Schwabe) sunspot cycle, that we are indeed entering a solar minimum. The emerging sleep of-the-Sun will soon encourage pronounced warming of the pole's stratosphere due to increased ozone, * as this warming pushes down through the troposphere and eventual stratosphere, the PV will in-turn react and SPLIT, the pole will moderate. As the split PV drops south in-latitude, a reaction-to-action, ejecting the Arctic Oscillation (AO) North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) into a pronounced negative phase. This will be the said driver of the 500-millibar Height Pattern over the Northern Hemisphere during the coming 2015/16 Winter season, NOT El Niño.
2. El Niño - the above said factors will tend to encourage an unusually stronger than normal or *enhanced* sub-tropical jet-stream, that will as-a-result of location, be a high moisture source to interact with the Polar jet-stream. This will be, an enhancer, encouraging a moderate to strong probability of Nor'Easter's.
When will this change influence New England?
While we have experienced a gradual step-down since mid November, there are key signals that will indicate CHANGE
A strong low pressure system tracking through the eastern Great Lakes region, producing rainfall in New England, around the week of November 29th may be the mechanism that encourages a significant pattern change. 
Therefore, December 5-12th is the time period of high volatility.
* Corrected information on sudden stratospheric warming & the current state of El Niño.

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