Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hullucinating Lone Wolf

Seal Rocks San Francisco
I've been struggling to get a handle on the data available such as historic temperature and humidity records to try an grapple with the changes occurring on the San Mateo Coast climate wise. I've been feeling the changes for about 3-4 years now but I seem to be a lone wolf in this "feeling" as most people I bring this up to look at me like I'm hallucinating! I thought surely it's warmer and there is less fog, this should be demonstrable thru historic weather data. I did find that in January 2014 the average temperature was approximately 7 degrees higher than historical records for San Francisco Airport. However other months I checked around that time had much less variation in temperature! Later I turned to humidity data as my sense is increased humidity is an integral part of the climate puzzle. However I'm not a meteorologist and examining humidity data shed no light for me as the fog plays a big roll in skewing the humidity data. Looking at the data on foggy days coastside humidity is 100% and humidity varies widely throughout the day varying with the ebb and flow of the fog.

On about April 3rd 2015 I felt that distinctive AC coolness return after a long absence! By accident I found out that the local ocean temperature holding at about 57 degrees F for several months dropped to about 52 F. This held thru May and early June and during this period I found my self overjoyed every time that wonderful cool air enveloped my body.

On about July 5th the most bizarre aspect of this 4 year drought occurred and continues today July 8th in a somewhat reduced fashion. The ocean temperature at buoy 46012 off Half Moon Bay shot up to 65 F rapidly in a few hours a good 10+ degrees above normal. Although a heavy fog was attached to the coast line the humidity was so high at my residence I was sweating heavily and uncomfortable at 7 pm, something I've never experience in my 16 year stay on the coast. Again on July 6th the ocean temperature soared to 65 F once again. Just writing this I can sense most people will think big deal, but this is a really big deal for the coastside and the state of California and for the world! Now buoy 46012 is more an accurate predictor than other data I've been following.

Computer models are now predicting a significant  El NiƱo event perhaps even an historical event. I'm getting further and further away from the thought that our climate will return to normal, thats a concern for me as I thrive in a Mediterranean type climate typical of the central California coast. On a positive note, we may see more southern species wildlife such as boobies, frigates and other southern climate birds and marine mammals! 

Since July 6th 2015 up to July 12 2015 the water temperature at the buoy has reached 65 degree F everyday. I'm currently researching the records for such a warm period but believe this clip is unprecedented. Notice the CDAS chart, the Pacific is basically on fire right now!
Buoy 46012 Standard Deviation

Deviation from Historical Data
Compiled 7/13/15

August 4, 2015 Update

Conditions are currently warming up in the Pacific, and the NOAA Climate Prediction Center expects a greater than 90% chance that El Nino will continue through the winter and most likely into the spring. This image shows the July 13-19, 2015 sea surface temperature departure from the 1981-2010 average. In addition to the warmer than normal waters generated by the El Nino conditions, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is also creating persistently higher than normal sea surface temperatures in the northeastern Pacific. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)