2.2A El Niño: Myths and Realities

Wednesday, 18 June 2014: 11:15 AM
Alpine Ballroom (Resort at Squaw Creek)
Jan Null, San Francisco State University, Saratoga, CA

With the pronouncement by NOAA that El Niño is on the horizon for later this fall and winter there is rampant speculation, some based upon either outdated or misunderstood information, about what the impacts may be across the United States and around the world. This paper will look at some of the myths and realities associated with El Niño in a straightforward and no nonsense manner. For example, does El Niño really come to the United States? Does it really spawn storms and big waves? Does a strong Niño it will mean the end of the drought in California? In addition to the basics about El Niño, this paper will look at the methodologies used to understand past events. It will also examine the risks associated with using climatology as a forecast tool. The ultimate goal will be to give broadcast meteorologists an evenly balanced “tool-kit” to use in discussing what the occurrence of El Niño in 2014 might mean, and also what it doesn't mean!
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