Tuesday, February 5, 2019

January NCEP/NCAR global surface anomaly same as December, which was up 0.11°C from November

Update In comments, Bryan Oz4caster pointed out that the results I posted were wrong, following the shutdown and recovery.  So I checked, and found the problem - I was calculating correct numbers, but posting numbers for corresponding days in 2015.

Oddly, the corresponding month figures for 2015 showed almost exactly the same changes. 
Nov to Jan 2015  0.106  0.212  0.209
Nov to Jan 2019  0.176  0.286  0.296
So I haven't had to change the headline, but I've fixed the figures in the text. The map and discussion based on it were correct.

The Moyhu NCEP/NCAR index was delayed by the US government shutdown, and then by some confusion after an apparent delay in finalising 2018 (which my system did not handle well - code being revised). So I'm reporting both December and January. There were ups and downs in late 2018, leaving November a cold month at 0.176°C. So the rise in December to 0.286°C was more of a return to normal, and that continued with the 0.296°C in January.

One remarkable feature in January was a band of warmth starting from the Kimberley region of W Australia and extending through the continent to New Zealand and beyond. This was indeed a very warm month in Australia's inland. It also shows the cold plume from Canada's Arctic islands through the US mid-west, though there is another band of warmth from Alaska to California. There was also a broad band of warmth from China through to Arabia and central Africa, although the Sahara and around the Mediterranean were cold. Polar regions tended to cool.

The BoM ENSO Outlook was downgraded to Watch, although some models predict a reappearance.

This post is part of a series that has now run for some years. The NCEP/NCAR integrated average is posted daily here, along with monthly averages, including current month, and graph. When the last day of the month has data (usually about the 3rd) I write this post.
The TempLS mesh data is reported here, and the recent history of monthly readings is here. Unadjusted GHCN is normally used, but if you click the TempLS button there, it will show data with adjusted, and also with different integration methods. There is an interactive graph using 1981-2010 base period here which you can use to show different periods, or compare with other indices. There is a general guide to TempLS here.

The reporting cycle starts with a report of the daily reanalysis index on about the 4th of the month. The next post is this, the TempLS report, usually about the 8th. Then when the GISS result comes out, usually about the 15th, I discuss it and compare with TempLS. The TempLS graph uses a spherical harmonics to the TempLS mesh residuals; the residuals are displayed more directly using a triangular grid in a better resolved WebGL plot here.

A list of earlier monthly reports of each series in date order is here:
  1. NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis report
  2. TempLS report
  3. GISS report and comparison with TempLS


  1. NOAA is predicting a big west to east wind anomaly in the tropical Pacific (light pink blob at bottom of screen):


    My amateur opinion is that this will be a significant boost to El Niño chances. A double shot espresso.

    1. Should have added that my prediction is for a few months out. The whole thing moves at a snails pace.

  2. Today's Niño 3.4 index is the lowest in a long time.


  3. "BoM has an El Niño watch for autumn."

    I wouldn't trust an Aussie as far as I could spit. Should be an alert, or better yet just go with NOAA.

  4. Snape, our host is an Australian.

  5. Nick, I just finished graphing the daily NCEP/NCAR R1 sig995 data that I downloaded and processed in comparison with the data you post here, both sets referenced to 1994-2013. I get a fairly close match, except after the US government dropout 2018 Dec 24, after which the match is very poor. I was unable to obtain your data for 2018 Dec 25 through 2019 January 3, which I did not find in the download files you provide. I have hand entered your data since that time into my spreadsheet. I don't think there is anything wrong on my end. So I suspect you may still have a bug left from the dropout recovery. Below are some comparisons before and after the gap, in case this might help.

    Moyhu Bryan
    12/18/18 0.575 0.571
    12/19/18 0.484 0.474
    12/20/18 0.403 0.416
    12/21/18 0.296 0.334
    12/22/18 0.280 0.289
    12/23/18 0.198 0.196
    12/24/18 0.218 0.210

    02/12/19 0.571 0.378
    02/13/19 0.461 0.419
    02/14/19 0.412 0.395
    02/15/19 0.338 0.454
    02/16/19 0.383 0.460
    02/17/19 0.321 0.522
    02/18/19 0.273 0.550

    1. Thanks, Bryan
      Yes, the fault is very likely with my program. I rewrote parts for the recovery, and I have been a bit distracted trying to gear up TempLS to use GHCN V4 for February, when it comes out. I keep here a zipfile if daily values back to 1994.

      I'll check my code.

    2. Thanks again Bryan,
      Silly mistake. I was calculating the 2019 numbers correctly, but posting numbers for 2015. Fixed now, I'll update the post.

    3. Nick, glad it was an easy fix. I can't tell you how many times I've made silly mistakes. I look forward to seeing your GHCN V4 TempLS for February in a couple of weeks.

    4. I pulled your updated data and it now shows a much better match now:

      ........ Moyhu Bryan
      02/12/19 0.391 0.378
      02/13/19 0.421 0.419
      02/14/19 0.397 0.395
      02/15/19 0.432 0.454
      02/16/19 0.460 0.460
      02/17/19 0.538 0.522
      02/18/19 0.566 0.550

  6. My comparison numbers above were calculated using a running 5-day smoothing of the 1994-2013 baseline. Without the baseline smoothing, the comparison is almost exact at three decimal places:

    ................ Moyhu Bryan
    02/12/19 0.391 0.391
    02/13/19 0.421 0.421
    02/14/19 0.397 0.396
    02/15/19 0.432 0.432
    02/16/19 0.460 0.460
    02/17/19 0.538 0.538
    02/18/19 0.566 0.566

  7. Wow, January NCEP/NCAR global surface anomaly starting off the chart.