George R. Kasica
METEO 241 Portfolio #2: Reflections on the 1982-83 El Nino project

I found that the project on El Nino was far more difficult to complete than I expected it would be when looking at it initially.

Why did I come to this conclusion? I think the major reason for this was due to the much more abstract and less "immediate" nature of the phenomena involved. More abstract in the way that it is not a short lived discreet system like a thunderstorm or hurricane that has a clear beginning and ending, and less immediate because its effects are far more subtle in how it interacts with other portions of the atmosphere and oceans.

What do I mean by the above statement? What I am trying to say here is that the El Nino process is far more complex and much less distinct than say a single tropical system or thunderstorm complex. There are no very clear and distinct starting and ending point for the locations of some of the effects or anomalus values we've looked at rather there are ranges of values that are outside of normal. This led to a fair bit of confusion on my part in terms of "how abnormal is something to be considered part of El Nino?" and also as the lessons we learned from stated, you cannot easily attribute a single weather event or storm to El Nino.

Where do I want to go from here on these topics? I am planning on trying to study more in depth information on El Nino and how it has affected the climatology of the Western US and other parts of the US when it has occured. I would also like to know more about how the El Nino is predicted in terms of what values are looked at beyond sea surface temperatures, thermocline depth and subtropical jet position and strength.

Overall, it turned out to be both a very challenging and somewhat frustrating project at times, but also a very informative learning experience on a topic that is quite popular in the public eye and at times very misunderstood by both the public as well as so-called "experts" as well.