In late February, Dr. Jeff Master’s blog on Weather Underground published a guest post from Dr. Michael Ventrice of Weather Services International (WSI). The post provided detailed explanation on the signs indicating a significant El Niño event for late 2014. Early in March, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center issued an El Niño alert. They estimate a 50% chance for an El Niño event in 2014. Following that, Dr. Master’s provided an explanation of the El Niño warning. Finally, Kim Cobb of Georgia Institute of Technology provided another explainer of the warning.
All this background is to note that the last major El Niño event was in 1997-98, prior to the high temperature year of 1998. Any time you hear someone discuss a “slow down” in global warming, they always reference 1998, even though that temperature has been met or exceeded four times since then (source, Goddard Institute for Space Studies). A prediction of an El Niño event is no guarantee of a future heat wave, but it does not bode well, either.