Coming ENSO (El Nino) = build raingardens & planning 4 drought

I was graced by a call from my wonderful neighbor and Santa Fe native, Zelie Pollon, who is now on news staff duties at KSFR and doing a great job.  She asked me about River Source restoration, water harvesting, and planning work in the City and County of Santa Fe and I suggested we talk about the strenghening ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) that is now about 60% positive and may go 80% positive this fall.  You’ll find a good website here shows the current ENSO projection and has animated graphs and shows comparisons of about a dozen model projections and all are leading to a strengthening El Nino.

El Nino/La Nina describes an ocean/atmosphere dynamic in the southern Pacific ocean between Darwin, Australia and the coast of Peru/Ecuador (a macroscopic dynamic) that affects the global climate strong confidence going forward about 3-6 months.  This makes tracking ENSO, as a the indicator is often called, very valuable for predicting and then planning for different moisture regimes in the coming 3-6 months.

Click on the link below to hear my talk with Zelie Pollon of KSFR 101.1 FM, public radio from SF Community College on June 30, 2014. KSFR ENSO Schrader Interview

Since that day about 12 days ago we’ve received about 1.1 inches of rain from a strong monsoon season !  Yeah!  But we need to plan to harvest water around our open space trees, create rain gardens, spread seeds and perhaps plant in well watered areas as this may a good chance to revegetate parched areas.  The current ENSO means we have a much better chance of reforestation, for instance, than we did over the past 3 years.

So what does 60-80% positive forecast for an El Nino mean?  First download the weekly forecast in PDF format and understand it as well as you can.   Then go to page 25 and see a comparison of the models on the SST departure predictions over the coming 1-10 months  as far out as February-March-April 2015.   This gives you an idea how to predict rainfall so you can plan for the future!

ENSO predict

top photo: Guadalupe Hotsprings on east side of cordillera of Baja Peninsula, Mexico by Rich Schrader, sometime between 1986-1989 on one of the trips we took there.