Indoor Golf Association

Indoor Golf and El Niño


Golfers Beware, Increased Chances of El Nino!

Okay golfers, there are various indicators pointing to some potential drought relief for California this winter season and an active winter snow-wise. In mid-May NOAA issued their recent ENSO discussions calling for a 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere summer 2015, and a greater than 80% chance it will last through 2015. This is an increase in NOAA’s March release indicating a 50 to 60 percent chance that El Niño conditions will continue through the summer of 2015.

In looking at past El Nino events, we are in a warmer water state than we were in 1997 for this time of year (right before the mega El Niño hit that winter), but still in the same range as during the 2009-2010 El Niño. What we have going for us now though, is that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) (a kind of a decades-long El Niño) is very warm right now, with readings similar to the 1997-1998 events. While it’s extremely unlikely that California will see much drought-relief this summer, all signs point to a potentially rainy/snow laden winter to come for us golfers. As we’ve said before, if you are not fortunate enough to own a golf simulator in your home keep the phone number to your local indoor golf center handy. It just might be a long and dreary winter heading our way.

A lot could happen however between now and this winter, but if NOAA’s predictions come to be true, you will be glad to have indoor golf as an option to keep your game in tune. Like us on Facebook as we will continue to keep you posted as NOAA issues their El Nino updates.


It’s Official; El Niño has arrived–albeit with a whimper

IndoorGolf & El Nino

What does El Nino’s final arrival really mean to indoor golfers?

As you may know by now, El Nino is the warming of the equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean which occurred to a certain degree in 2014 through March of 2015. According to Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, “Based on the persistent observations of above-average sea surface temperatures across the western and central equatorial Pacific Ocean and consistent pattern of sea level pressure, we can now say that El Niño is here…Many climate prediction models show this weak El Niño continuing into summer.”

Traditionally, weak events lead to a much weaker signal in the atmosphere – and also a wider range of outcomes. As such, due to the weak strength of this developing El Nino, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is suggesting that significant global impacts are not expected, and overall this El Nino will have little influence on local weather patterns or the global climate in general. A few “El Nino-esque” impacts are possible here and there, but at this point typical weather patterns may persist through 2015.

So what does a weak El Nino mean to indoor golfers? Well, you can probably expect the timing of your favorite outdoor golf course to open for business this spring as it has in years past. You can also expect the typical number of rain days to happen again this year so be sure to have the telephone number to your favorite indoor golf center handy. There’s nothing worse than planning a golf outing with your buddies just to have it get rained out. Who wants to stay home to do chores on a rainy day when instead you can meet your friends at your local indoor golf center for a round of golf!

But, as you probably figured out, when it comes to predicting the weather it’s anybody’s guess as to what El Nino might have in store for us golfers come this winter of 2016. We will continue to keep you updated on what the meteorologists have to say about El Nino in the coming months. Stay tuned or Like Us on Facebook to receive all updates.


Indoor Golf and El Niño

Indoor Golf and El Nino NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released their latest assessment on this season’s El Nino. The up-to-date status from NOAA is for a 50 – 60% chance of El Nino conditions over the next couple of months and then neutral conditions thereafter. While this may seem like a boring report it’s a decent departure from recent years where the west was often plagued by dry, La Nina conditions, mainly due to the strong gulf high pressure that would greatly affect the jet stream’s storm track.

Sea surface temperatures in the equatorial regions (that are measured for El Nino assessments) have been barely above normal, but warmer than recent years. Water temperatures remain abnormally high this time of the year off of the California coast. And, the PDO (El Nino’s big brother) is in a very warm state right now, with an index higher than it has been since 1986. These date points gives pause to NOAA’s assessment, since other variables are in play outside of those used to evaluate their ENSO forecasts.
Right now it seems like a safe bet to expect a turn toward a more wintery weather pattern starting during the second half of this month, with then a slight intensification as we slide into February. This though is what we’d expect from a “normal” (ENSO neutral) season.

So in summary, most current models predict the SST anomalies to remain at weak El Nino levels during the December – February 2014-15 timeframe, and lasting into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015. If El Nino were to emerge, the forecaster consensus favors a weak event that ends in early Northern Hemisphere spring. So again, there is a 50-60% chance of El Nino conditions during the next two months with ENSO-neutral favored thereafter. The conclusion for indoor golfers is that you can expect a “normal” Indoor Golf season ahead!

We will keep you posted and provide updates here to any changes to the forecast. Check back here often or Like Us on Facebook to receive all updates.