More El Niño/La Niña in the press

May 10, 2006

An Associated Press article that was for a Canadian audience contains this incorrect statement:

While La Nina has been the dominating factor in the Pacific for the past two years, it appears to be easing.

Major Hurricane Season Brewing in the Atlantic 

As I've commented before, the last couple of seasons took place under neutral conditions.  The graphic at the top of the Climate Diagnostic Center's ENSO index page tells the story.  2000 was the last season that had La Niña-like circumstances.

 In fairness though, I should point out that the article did not ride on that statement; it did not make the pronouncement that the season was riding on the Southern Oscillation, as did the Palm Beach Post and an article today in the Herald Tribune, Pacific could sway season

It's too early to put away the plywood just yet, but warming waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean could mean a less eventful hurricane season than previously thought.

Scientists say Pacific water temperatures are retreating from the cold water pattern known as La Niña, and if the surface waters in the eastern Pacific continue to warm they could even become an El Niño…

When it comes to conditions during the last two seasons, the article almost gets it right

The last two deadly and costly hurricane seasons did not feature strong La Niñas.

As I said above, they didn't feature La Niña at all. 

I agree with the opinion of the NASA scientist quoted in the article who doesn't think that the development of an El Niño would occur in time to affect the 2006 hurricane season.  I find it more likely that if conditions would run straight through neutral to El Niño would be at season's end or later and would instead affect the 2007 season.  

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One Response to “More El Niño/La Niña in the press”


  1. Good debunking.

    I’m seeing a lot of upper westerlies from the eastern equatorial Pacific across the tropical Atlantic. The environment is quite hostile as the season begins. I doubt this year will be as bad as alarmists expect.

    BTW, I’ve closed the Fresh Bilge subdomain on my site. It’s just Seablogger now. I’m on the East Coast aboard a boat this summer, so I’ll be paying even more attention to the storms.


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