Another 89+ dead. So far this year the total is 453 (55 average). In 2011 there have been 49 killer tornadoes, the average for a full year is only 22. So what’s going on? There is no question but that the rapid transition from La Nina to El Nino conditions is responsible for the violent weather.
From the May 23, NOAA update:
The transition from La to El is happening in all of the ENSO regions:
What this means is that warmer water is building up on the Pacific coast and the Gulf of Mexico. These pics show the transition from 3/2 to 5/18. Note the buildup of color in the GoM.
With the heat and moisture comes the rain (storms) that go though the South and the Ohio Valley all the way up to the North East. We are experiencing unusual conditions in this entire area:
The long-term chart shows that the cycle of El to La conditions has happened repeatedly in the past. The most recent cycle is notable because of the extreme trough that was achieved back in November and the very rapid transition from La to El.
The ENSO weather cycle is a bit like the stock market. It produces extremely choppy conditions during peaks and valleys. It can be downright deadly when it changes direction.