Bob Tisdale - Climate Observations

NOAA issued an El Niño watch yesterday morning. The watch seems a bit premature. A “watch” in NOAA parlance means “conditions are favorable,” but the synopsis of the NOAA report reads:

There is a 50% chance that El Niño conditions will develop during the second half of 2012.

A 50% chance also means that El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-neutral conditions (not an El Niño and not a La Niña) are just as likely. Seems to me, an El Niño watch would have been more appropriate when the odds are weighted a little more toward El Niño. That may happen next month…and it may not.

Within hours of NOAA issuing the watch, Joe Romm of Climate Progress published the blog post NOAA Says ’50% Chance’ El Niño Will Develop In Second Half Of 2012, Which NASA Says Would Lead To ‘Rapid Warming’. The majority of Romm’s post is a parroting of…

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