BWS Blog


Checking In On El Niño

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 4:55PM


One critical factor we have been tracking due to its influence on the Summer temperature pattern is the progress of "El Niño", which is simply referring to anomalous warming of the equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean. The event has had its "ups and downs" but still remains in place, as seen with the warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the circled region.

natural gas commodity weather

The exact intensity, per NOAA data, is slightly weaker this week, though still solidly in "El Niño" range.

natural gas commodity weather

ENSO events (both El Niño and La Niña) often suffer from what is known as a "Spring predictability barrier", meaning that climate models often do not perform as well in the Spring transitional season when it comes to predicting the ENSO phase. Now that we are coming out of Spring and into Summer, their skill should improve. What are they telling us for the future? They suggest El Niño is with us through the remainder of Summer and likely all the way into next Winter.

natural gas commodity weather

In Summer this often results in a lot of variability, with sustained heat more difficult to come by. And in looking at the latest CFSv2 model run for July, we couldn't conjure up a better model of variability.

natural gas commodity weather

It is quite unusual to see that much "white", or "normal" on this model in the month ahead forecast, and while it is not to be accepted as gospel, it supports what we often see with El Niño events in the summer.

Of course, while a pattern can average near normal, the pathway to getting there is the real key, and that is where we come in, to keep you ahead of important changes that can move the natural gas market. Sign up for a 10-day free trial here to take a closer look at all of the products we have to offer.