How the active U.S. Tornado Season implies that El Niño may be holding on by a thread

Weather - BestWeather Artwork for Barchart image library

(ZWN24) (KEN24) (WEAT) (ZCU24) (CORN) (ZSX24) (SOYB) (TAGS) (DBA) (CCN24) (SBV24) (CANE)  (KCN24) 

"How the active U.S. Tornado Season implies that El Niño may be holding on by a thread"

by Jim Roemer - Meteorologist - Commodity Trading Advisor - Principal, Best Weather Inc. & Climate Predict - Publisher, Weather Wealth Newsletter 

  •  Memorial Day Weekend Report:  May 24-27, 2024  

There will be yet another bout of severe weather this weekend over the Midwest that will make national headlines by Sunday.

In the unfortunate midst of one of the worst U.S. tornado and severe weather seasons in years, there have been some incredible, weather-related moves in wheat, cocoa, and coffee over the last few weeks. I will be monitoring the ongoing drought in western Russia and Ukraine and the impact of the frost that has helped wheat prices soar 15% in recent weeks.  The Russian situation is more typical of La Niña, not El Niño. In contrast, the wet spring with frequent Midwest tornadoes represents El Niño type conditions. 


The bottom line is that over the next couple of months, the atmosphere will oscillate back and forth between El Niño and La Niña conditions (“EL NINO neutral”) By September, La Niña conditions should take hold (a key reason why NOAA, etc. are predicting the one of the worst hurricanes season ever).


Best Weather's Spider has been cautiously friendly towards wheat:



The reason it was not more bullish than this (at the higher score in the +5 to +8 range is because: 

  • The Kansas wheat crop is in better shape than it was a year ago;
  • Incorporating the implications from sporadic El Niño conditions, there ought to be improving June weather for Russia. However, this is questionable given the warmest global ocean temperatures on record and continued historic heat.

Anyway… let’s take a look at Global Atmospheric Angular Momentum (GLAAM) and why the occasional El Niño symptoms will persist into early June.  It is not only ocean temperatures that dictate El Niño or La Niña conditions, also but how torque along the equator can influence global weather patterns and hence offer trading strategies in grains and soft commodities. Presently, GLAAM is in a positive phase. This means, like a skater pulling his/her arms in, rotational forces along the equatorial Pacific are faster than normal suggesting El NIño like conditions..

Screenshot 2024-05-23 at 6.45.55 AM.png

In addition, the western Pacific (NINO4 region) near Australia is still warmer than normal, while the eastern Pacific cools rapidly near Peru suggesting La Niña conditions will eventually form. Notice how this correlates quite well with wet in the Midwest and deep South. For example, the flooding in Houston TX this month is an El Niño signal (not a La NIña one).

ClimatePredict, BestWeather's proprietary weather software, is often able to second guess the standard computer models (GFS, European, etc.) by looking at teleconnections such as Sea Ice, Ocean Temperatures, etc., that have developed thousands of miles away.


Screenshot 2024-05-24 at 6.14.11 AM.png


Another signal that El Niño conditions are not completely dead yet, is the active U.S. tornado season. Notice how, in the worst tornado outbreaks since 2000, all four were either El Niño events or “El Niño neutral” (in between El Niño and La Niña).

Screenshot 2024-05-23 at 6.22.43 AM.png

These analog years will be important in predicting not only corn belt summer weather, but also the Indian Monsoon for sugar prices, west African cocoa weather, and more. 


So… what will our forecast be for the grain and soft commodity markets and what will my Weather Spiders suggest for potential investing strategies? We invite you to request a 2-week free trial to WeatherWealth here as we get right into the heat of global spring and summer weather markets:

Screenshot 2024-05-24 at 6.48.11 AM.png

Thanks for your interest in commodity weather!

Jim Roemer, Scott Mathews and the Weather Wealth Team.

  • Please feel free to learn about Jim Roemer, our track record, and how we use weather to help traders, hedgers, and investors. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to drop me a line  - Scott Mathews, Editor

Mr. Roemer owns Best Weather Inc., offering weather-related blogs for commodity traders and farmers. He also is a co-founder of Climate Predict, a detailed long-range global weather forecast tool. As one of the first meteorologists to become an NFA registered Commodity Trading Advisor, he has worked with major hedge funds, Midwest farmers, and individual traders for over 35 years. With a special emphasis on interpreting market psychology, coupled with his short and long-term trend forecasting in grains, softs, and the energy markets, he established a unique standing among advisors in the commodity risk management industry.

Trading futures and options involves a significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. There is no warranty or representation that accounts following any trading program will be profitable.

“You can't change the weather, but you can profit from it”


On the date of publication, Jim Roemer did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.