***  Issued   privately 2/24/08  ***

 The Spring season of 2008 is going to be dominated by the continuing strong La Niņa event which has been raging since last Autumn across the equatorial Pacific. Moderate and strong La Nina events in the Spring season have a strong correlation to particular types of weather pattern for the Plains and the Midwest.    This specific  Spring  time  Moderate / Strong La Nina   Pattern  features Below and Much Below Normal temperatures and Above Normal rainfall especially across the Midwest and into portions of the Deep South.

 The real forecast issue that meteorologists will have to deal with this Spring will be the condition of the La Niņa event by the time we reach MAY 2008. If the La Niņa event is still in the Strong criteria as we move into early Summer ... then the odds strongly favor a particular weather pattern. If on the other hand the La Niņa event is weakening we will end up with a significantly different weather pattern for the Summer months across the Plains and the Midwest. This is going to be the key issue in figuring the Summer forecast at 2008 and it is very important that energy and agricultural traders keep this in mind. The Summer 2008 forecast will be based upon a forecast or extrapolation of an event that is still several months down the road and that is always a risky proposition.

            

 REVIEW   OF WINTER    2007-08

  The link below shows the WxRisk Winter 2007-08 forecast. If you would actually take a look at the forecasts and the Map issued with regard to the overall pattern you would see that the December and January forecast force quite accurate. However my February 2008 forecast was not nearly as good. This is mainly because I anticipated the La Niņa to weaken as ee moved into February. And I really did not happen so as a result the basic or fundamental assumption I had for the month turned out to be wrong. And not surprisingly so did the February forecast .

http://wxrisk.com/Seasonalforcst/WINTER07-8/EXESUMMARY.htm

 

DEC  2007  JET STREAM DEC  2007  PRECIP DEC  2007  TEMPS
JAN 2008  JET STREAM JAN 2008    PRECIP JAN  2008  TEMPS
FEB 2008  JET STREAM FEB 2008 PRECIP FEB 2008  TEMPS

 

 

   These next two maps show the overall pattern and I have highlighted the mean Jet  stream position with a rather thick black line  over the  CONUS for the winter months of December January and February. Map#1 number one refers to the temperature pattern  for  DJF and as you can see temperatures were generally above normal over Texas the Delta the deep south into the Northeast US while over the western third of the US into portions of the Plains temperatures were below normal.       This  next Map shows the precipitation pattern  we   experienced  during   the  winter months of December January and February. Again   the   superimposed   thick black line   shows the  Mean  Jet stream position and as you can clearly see the Great Basin  region    has been pretty wet  along with a large area from   of the central Plains into much of the Midwest and New England.   However areas to the south  of the   Jet stream    have  for the most  part   been rather Dry this winter.   That   being said    FEB 2008  has turned   much wetter over the   Deep South.

  

 

If we take a look at the Winter by region we can see that the precipitation patterns are clearly distinguishable over the central Plains into the Midwest. As you can see for most of the Winter the dark blues and purples show much Above Normal rainfall extending from eastern Colorado are across the central Plains and into the Midwest which is where the mean storm track was located.

  PLAINS   PRECIP
   DEC 1- FEB 29
 MIDWEST    PRECIP
   DEC 1- FEB 29

With the temperatures we can see much of the same sort of thing. Again note how the coldest temperatures were located just to the north of where the Jet stream position was... over the central and upper Plains into the western Great Lakes. To the south and east of that we can see Above Normal temperatures across much of the lower Midwest and especially over the ECB.

 

  PLAINS   TEMPS
   DEC 1- FEB 29
 MIDWEST    TEMPS
   DEC 1- FEB 29

 

As we prepare the Spring 2008 forecast we want to start paying attention to some of the trends we are seeing in February. There are numerous cases where the early Winter pattern is significantly different than what we see late in the Winter / early Spring and this can result Missing the pattern changes and thus your seasonal forecast often ends up in trouble. However in this particular Spring season the strong La Niņa event is still the dominating factor. And if we look at the temperatures for the month of February we will see essentially an  unchanged pattern.

 

  FEB   TEMPS  for  CONUS 2008

 

 

Over the Plains temperatures from the Rockies westward were quite mild but when we look at the eastern portions of the central and upper Plains temperatures during February 2008 were way below normal. This continued into much of the WCB region as well. 

  PLAINS   TEMPS
   FEB 1- FEB 29
 MIDWEST    TEMPS
   FEB 1- FEB 29

 Precipitation for February 2008 can be seen here with very dry conditions over much of the central and upper Plains... but very wet conditions over almost all of the Midwest. This very distinct rainfall pattern between the Plains the Midwest occurs because the Jet stream has been so strong and powerful that these systems racing in from the West coast are developing their rain shields too far to the east to affect the Plains and as result.... the Midwest is getting slammed with heavy and rain and snow events.

  PLAINS   PRECIP
   FEB 1- FEB 29
 MIDWEST    PRECIP
   FEB 1- FEB 29

 

  The persistent nature of this weather pattern we seen over the central Plains and then into most of the Midwest has produced a large area of saturated ground that appears to be growing as the wet pattern continues into March. These two images show the trend rather clearly. First let's take a look at the short-term trends s with regard to droughts and rainfall. As you can see from the short-term trend Map much of the Midwest and the Northeast is now experiencing Much Above Normal with regard to soil moisture and saturation and many areas in Midwest are supersaturated.   Also note the area of adequate or above normal soil moisture over the central Rockies. It should be pretty clear then that we can see where the mean storm track has been for much of the Winter running from Utah Colorado across the Plains into the Midwest and New England. Alston did he notice of the deep South region where are the extensive drought is shrinking rapidly as the one continues in the short-term.

The long-term soil moisture and drought Monitor trends which can be seen here  This  Map shows   the lingering   drought over the Deep South but it is not nearly as bad as it was Last  Summer   and  Autumn.  In addition the long term trends for Above and Much Above Normal rainfall over portions of the Midwest and the Northeast can be seen  as well .

   

   

All seasonal forecasts regardless of whom or what companies actually make them... are all based upon certain critical assumptions which a meteorologist HAS to make in order to project the forecast for the next 90 or 180 days. Sometimes these are critical factors are overpowering and the forecast becomes relatively easy. This was the case this winter and the Summer of 2006. In the examples that were two or three overpowering the factors which really gone it to the entire weather pattern across the Western Hemisphere.

This particular winter which is now coming to a close the dominating factor was the strong La Niņa which actually exceeded most of forecast expectations made back in the Autumn of 2007. There NO computer forecasts or private forecasts that I know of which called for the La Nina to reach  the "strong" intensity criteria for several weeks during the middle of this past Winter.

My particular winter forecast --again by referring to the link above called for a month or La Nina to dominate the weather pattern-- in the months of December and January but I anticipated the La Niņa to weaken during the month of February and early March. As a result my December and January forecasts were very good and quite accurate with the overall pattern temperatures and precipitation. However the February forecast was a disaster since it was premised on the idea of the moderately La Nina weakening which clearly did NOT happen!

There were some other factors of course besides the La Nina... such as the QBO and the Sea surface temperature anomaly patterns in the North Atlantic Ocean which were hostile towards the idea of any sort of sustained blocking patterns developing over Greenland or Eastern Canada.

As we move into the Spring 2008 forecast (and then take an early look at the Summer 2008 forecast) we can see that the La Niņa is going to be the dominating factor once again. The reason for this is that there is a significant difference in the historical climatology between a strong / Moderate La Nina versus a Weak La Nina. Thus ANY forecast that is premised on the idea of a strong / moderate La Nina continuing thru the Spring and into the middle portions of the Summer.... HAS to reflect the conditions we see during Spring and Summer months of a strong or moderate La Nina. On the other hand if you are forecasting a Moderate La Niņa for the Spring with a weakening La Niņa during the Summer months (the DTN forecast) then your forecast is going to be significantly different because the patterns we expect with a weakening La Niņa during the Spring and Summer months is different.

 

  WHAT   ARE THE   SPRING  TIME CONDITIONS  MODERATE / STRONG  LA NINA EVENTS  BRING TO THE   CONUS?

   These Next two images come from the climate prediction  Center   (  CPC)    ENSO  diagnostic discussion web page. The first map shows three different maps which all representative of the the typical precipitation patterns   the  CONUS experiences  in  La Nina  events. the top map represents the areas of above normal and the little normal rainfall with weak La Niņa events... no matter presents moderate lightning events and the bottom map represents the top of rainfall patterns we see with strong La Nina events.  one thing that you'll notice is that regardless of the type of  La Nina    event the spring season seems to favor an area of much below normal rainfall over the western corn belt  / upper Mississippi Valley which extends into the eastern portion of the Plains.

    

LA NINA SPRING
RAINFALL
LA NINA SPRING
TEMPERATURES

   This next image refers to the temperature patterns we see during the Spring season with weak  Moderate  and Strong  La Nina  events.  The  Top  map  ...weak La Nina -- shows very little correlation between any sort of temperature anomalies over the Plains or the Midwest  but there is a tendency for the Pacific Northwest to run somewhat below normal. In the moderate and strong winning events we can see a large area of below normal temperatures over the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies and into the far upper portions of the Plains   near the Canadian border.  On the other hand  there is a large area of  Above   and Much Above Normal temperatures that extend from eastern Texas of the Delta and the entire Deep South. 

 

  Now that we know what the typical La Niņa spring time patterns with regard to temperature and precipitation typically look like... the next issue  is to determine what sort of La Nina   event  will  the  CONUS    and southern Canada see   this  Spring and possibly into the Summer of 2008?

  This next map  is presented  so that   the reader can   more  easily  comprehend  that La
Nina and El Nino events occur within a certain geographical region along the equatorial Pacific Ocean.      The  ENSO  region   consists  of   several sectors .... ENSO 1+2   ENSO   3    ENSO  4   and   ENSO  3.4.   Officially  an El Nino or La Nina event is declared when the SSTA     (sea  surface temperature anomalies)    have reached a certain level for a 5 month time period   over the   ENSO   region known as    3.4 .

 

  

  As of  March 1  the  La Nina  event   in region 3.4  reached its   peak   of   nearly  -1.90c  in the  first  two   weeks   of FEB.  Since them the La Nina has  showed  very slow warming. 

 

 HISTORY OF  SHORT  La NINA EVENTS  ( weak) vs
     STRONG   La  NINA  EVENTS

this next table --   called the  ONI    index-- comes from   the  Climate Prediction Center --and it shows a history of all the La Niņa and El Niņo events in the critical  ENSO  region of 3.4 since 1950. I have highlighted two different types of    La Nina events.   The YELLOW shading highlights the long lasting La Nina  events while the  AQUA BLUE shading highlights the short duration  La Nina    events. 

  By highlighting the history of  all the  La Nina   events  since  1950 it should be readily apparent that in the yellow shaded / LONG  lasting La Nina  events the sea surface temperature anomalies  in ENSO  region   3.4 reached or exceeded  -1.5c  while in the short duration La Niņa events the sea surface temperature anomalies did NOT  reach  -1.5c

  CRITICAL POINT: they' have been  4  long-lasting  La Nina  events since 1950.  In every instance  the sea surface temperature anomaly dropped to -1.5c or lower and the total event lasted  27  to 36 months.

In the 4 of the 5   short duration  La Nina events  Sea Surface temperature anomalies never exceeded   -1.5c ...except in the 1988-89  La Nina  event. they are for the odds and the climate history of logging events strongly indicate that the current La Niņa event will continue for at least the rest of 2008 possibly into early 2009.  The CURRENT La Nina event may not have the same intensity as it has right now but the climate history of La Nina   events is very clear  -- this La Nina event still has a long way to go

   DESCRIPTION: Warm (red) and cold (blue) episodes based on a threshold of +/- 0.5oC for the Oceanic Niņo Index (ONI) [3 month running mean of ERSST.v3 SST anomalies in the Niņo 3.4 region (5oN-5oS, 120o-170oW)], based on the 1971-2000 base period. For historical purposes cold and warm episodes (blue and red colored numbers) are defined when the threshold is met for a minimum of 5 consecutive over-lapping seasons.

ear

DJF

JFM

FMA

MAM

AMJ

MJJ

JJA

JAS

ASO

SON

OND

NDJ

1950

-1.7

-1.5

-1.4

-1.4

-1.3

-1.2

-0.9

-0.8

-0.8

-0.8

-0.9

-1.0

1951

-1.1

-0.9

-0.7

-0.4

-0.2

0.1

0.3

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.7

0.6

1952

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.0

-0.2

-0.3

-0.3

-0.1

-0.2

-0.2

-0.1

1953

0.1

0.3

0.4

0.4

0.5

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.2

1954

0.3

0.2

-0.2

-0.6

-0.8

-0.8

-0.8

-1.1

-1.2

-1.1

-1.1

-1.0

1955

-1.0

-0.9

-0.9

-1.0

-1.1

-1.0

-1.0

-1.0

-1.4

-1.8

-2.0

-1.7

1956

-1.2

-0.7

-0.6

-0.6

-0.5

-0.5

-0.6

-0.8

-0.8

-0.9

-0.8

-0.7

1957

-0.5

-0.1

0.3

0.6

0.7

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

1.2

1.5

1958

1.7

1.5

1.1

0.7

0.5

0.5

0.4

0.2

0.0

0.0

0.2

0.4

1959

0.4

0.5

0.4

0.2

0.1

-0.2

-0.4

-0.5

-0.4

-0.3

-0.2

-0.3

1960

-0.3

-0.3

-0.3

-0.1

-0.1

-0.1

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.2

-0.2

-0.2

1961

-0.1

-0.2

-0.2

-0.1

0.1

0.2

0.1

-0.3

-0.6

-0.6

-0.5

-0.4

1962

-0.5

-0.5

-0.4

-0.5

-0.4

-0.3

-0.2

-0.3

-0.4

-0.6

-0.7

-0.7

1963

-0.6

-0.3

0.0

0.1

0.1

0.3

0.7

0.9

0.9

0.9

1.0

1.0

1964

0.9

0.4

0.0

-0.5

-0.7

-0.7

-0.7

-0.8

-1.0

-1.1

-1.1

-1.0

1965

-0.8

-0.5

-0.2

0.0

0.3

0.7

1.0

1.3

1.5

1.6

1.6

1.5

1966

1.2

1.1

0.8

0.5

0.3

0.2

0.2

0.0

-0.2

-0.2

-0.3

-0.3

1967

-0.4

-0.5

-0.6

-0.5

-0.2

0.0

0.0

-0.2

-0.4

-0.5

-0.4

-0.5

1968

-0.7

-0.8

-0.8

-0.7

-0.4

0.0

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.4

0.7

0.9

1969

1.0

1.0

0.9

0.8

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.4

0.6

0.7

0.7

0.6

1970

0.5

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0

-0.3

-0.6

-0.7

-0.7

-0.7

-0.8

-1.1

1971

-1.3

-1.4

-1.2

-0.9

-0.8

-0.8

-0.8

-0.8

-0.8

-0.9

-1.0

-0.9

1972

-0.7

-0.3

0.0

0.3

0.6

0.8

1.1

1.4

1.6

1.8

2.1

2.1

1973

1.8

1.2

0.5

0.0

-0.5

-0.8

-1.0

-1.2

-1.4

-1.7

-1.9

-2.0

1974

-1.8

-1.6

-1.2

-1.1

-0.9

-0.7

-0.5

-0.4

-0.5

-0.7

-0.8

-0.7

1975

-0.6

-0.6

-0.7

-0.8

-0.9

-1.1

-1.3

-1.3

-1.5

-1.6

-1.7

-1.7

1976

-1.6

-1.2

-0.9

-0.6

-0.5

-0.2

0.1

0.3

0.6

0.8

0.8

0.8

1977

0.6

0.5

0.3

0.2

0.2

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.5

0.7

0.8

0.8

1978

0.8

0.5

0.0

-0.3

-0.4

-0.3

-0.3

-0.4

-0.4

-0.3

-0.2

-0.1

1979

-0.1

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.1

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.5

0.5

0.6

1980

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.2

0.0

-0.1

0.0

0.0

0.0

1981

-0.2

-0.4

-0.4

-0.3

-0.2

-0.3

-0.3

-0.3

-0.2

-0.1

-0.1

0.0

1982

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.4

0.7

0.7

0.8

1.0

1.5

1.9

2.2

2.3

1983

2.3

2.1

1.6

1.3

1.0

0.7

0.3

-0.1

-0.5

-0.7

-0.9

-0.7

1984

-0.4

-0.2

-0.2

-0.3

-0.4

-0.4

-0.3

-0.2

-0.2

-0.6

-0.9

-1.1

1985

-1.0

-0.9

-0.8

-0.8

-0.8

-0.6

-0.6

-0.5

-0.6

-0.4

-0.4

-0.4

1986

-0.5

-0.5

-0.3

-0.2

-0.1

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.9

1.0

1.2

1987

1.2

1.3

1.2

1.1

1.0

1.2

1.5

1.7

1.6

1.5

1.2

1.1

1988

0.7

0.5

0.1

-0.3

-0.9

-1.3

-1.4

-1.2

-1.3

-1.6

-2.0

-2.0

1989

-1.8

-1.6

-1.2

-0.9

-0.7

-0.4

-0.4

-0.4

-0.4

-0.3

-0.2

-0.1

1990

0.1

0.1

0.3

0.3

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.4

1991

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.6

0.8

1.0

0.9

0.9

0.9

1.3

1.6

1992

1.8

1.7

1.5

1.4

1.2

0.9

0.5

0.2

-0.1

-0.1

0.1

0.3

1993

0.4

0.4

0.5

0.7

0.7

0.7

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

1994

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.4

0.5

0.5

0.7

0.9

1.3

1.3

1995

1.2

0.9

0.6

0.3

0.2

0.1

-0.1

-0.2

-0.5

-0.6

-0.8

-0.8

1996

-0.8

-0.7

-0.5

-0.3

-0.2

-0.2

-0.1

-0.2

-0.1

-0.2

-0.3

-0.4

1997

-0.4

-0.3

-0.1

0.3

0.8

1.3

1.7

2.0

2.2

2.4

2.5

2.5

1998

2.3

2.0

1.4

1.1

0.4

-0.1

-0.7

-1.0

-1.1

-1.2

-1.4

-1.5

1999

-1.5

-1.2

-0.9

-0.8

-0.8

-0.8

-0.9

-1.0

-1.0

-1.2

-1.4

-1.7

2000

-1.7

-1.4

-1.0

-0.8

-0.6

-0.6

-0.4

-0.4

-0.4

-0.5

-0.7

-0.7

2001

-0.7

-0.5

-0.4

-0.3

-0.1

0.1

0.1

0.0

0.0

-0.1

-0.1

-0.2

2002

-0.1

0.1

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.9

0.9

1.1

1.3

1.5

1.4

2003

1.2

0.9

0.5

0.1

-0.1

0.0

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.5

0.6

0.4

2004

0.4

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.7

0.8

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.8

2005

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.3

0.2

-0.1

-0.4

-0.8

2006

-0.8

-0.6

-0.3

-0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.7

0.9

1.2

1.1

2007

0.8

0.4

0.1

-0.1

0.0

-0.1

-0.2

-0.5

-0.8

-1.1

-1.2

-1.4

2008

-1.5

 -1.7

 ?

 

 

 

  

     THUS   the  analog   years   we  need to focus on  -- the  YELLOW  SHADED  events--  are the  Spring/ Summer  season   1949  1950 ...  1954  1955 1956....  1973  1974  1975...  1999 and 2000.

   Some forecast services  -- such as    DTN's  Bryce  Anderson / Mike Palmerino   and  INFORMA's   Rick Shields   also  consider the following  La Nina events  to be  analog  events  ...1988-89... 1970-71...  and 1964-65.   But  as I   proved   from the data above  those events   were  SHORT  duration La Nina events and   did not   see the  ENSO   Region 3.4     seas surface temperature anomalies   drop to   -1.6c  to  -1.9c .

     

 SPRING   TEMPS in  MOD/
STRONG LA  NINA   EVENT
 SPRING   RAINFAL in  MOD/
STRONG LA  NINA   EVENT

 

    This is what  MARCH     Temperatures and Precipitation   patterns  looked like for the CONUS  in the  analog  years  of  1949  1950 ...  1954  1955 1956....  1973  1974  1975...  1999 and 2000.   As you can see   Temperatures  MARCH  of  these   analog  years  featured a marked  contrast  with Much below  Normal temps    over the   Pacific NW    into   the   Upper Plains/ south central Canada...   while    southwest  states   southern TX and the Gulf coast    had   Above and Much Above Normal   Temperatures.

 Rainfall in these Analog La Nina  Spring years  featured somewhat wetter than Normal  over the   Delta   the Southeast  into the Lower Midwest and   into  WVA  and VA as well as   the  Upper  Plains and  Pacific NW.    DRY conditions over   the    central Plains  into the  SW states.   

 MARCH   TEMPS in  MOD/
STRONG LA  NINA   EVENT
MARCH  RAINFALL in  MOD/
STRONG LA  NINA   EVENT

 

 This is what  APRIL   Temperatures and Precipitation   patterns  looked like for the CONUS  in the  analog  years  of  949  1950 ...  1954  1955 1956....  1973  1974  1975...  1999 and 2000.  

As you can see   Temperatures  APRIL of  these   analog  years  featured   still featured a LARGE   area of   Below and  Much Below  Normal   over ALL of the  Western third  of the Conus    as well as  all of the    Upper Plains  and  south central Canada...    and  into the    Most of the Midwest.

 Rainfall in these Analog La Nina  MARCH years  featured somewhat a large area of   Drier  than Normal   over the   Southwest   into the    central and Lower Plains...    and drying  trend over the  Deep South   NW. 

 

APRIL   TEMPS in  MOD/
STRONG LA  NINA   EVENT
 APRIL  RAINFALL in  MOD/
STRONG LA  NINA   EVENT

This is what  MAY   Temperatures and Precipitation   patterns  looked like for the CONUS  in the  analog  years  of  949  1950 ...  1954  1955 1956....  1973  1974  1975...  1999 and 2000.

  

MAY   TEMPS in  MOD/
STRONG LA  NINA   EVENT
MAY  RAINFALL in  MOD/
STRONG LA  NINA   EVENT

   

  in addition to the actual climatological history of the lending of events since 1950 weather forecasters can have access to various computer models which specialize just in forecasting La Niņa and El Niņo events.  This latest projection which comes from the IRI  -- international research Institute-- is a composite of over  20 various computer models. As you can see most of the computer models show La Niņa weakening as we moved into the Summer   but  they do keep  the La Nina   event going right
 through the Summer   as a  border line weak to Moderate   event.

 

   of course the trick is not to rely too heavily on any of the computer models when you're dealing with long-range seasonal forecasting because sometimes it can have very strange solutions.  One of the ways of getting around that is to view the recent climate computer models and see if they have been any good over the past few months. For example here is the   GSM  climate model forecasts from  January 2008 with regard to the precipitation for the next three months  -- FEB- MARCH- APRIL.  

  As you can see   from the Maps above the model did correctly predict  that the Midwest would  run very wet this  past Winter and the Plains  would  stay drier than Normal.    

  The GSM for the Spring 2008 season is predicting the following... this map shows the overall Jet stream pattern which I have superimposed with the black thick lines... we can see the mean Trough position is centered over the Rockies and Plains states which is basically a continuation of the pattern we have seen this past winter.  Not surprisingly the temperature forecast from the GSM  for March April May reflects the overall jet stream pattered with a little normal temperatures over much of the Pacific Northwest  the West Coast  south-central Canada and into much of the Plains and  WCB... 
                                              

 

  SPRING FORECAST

  

 MARCH JET STREAM    MARCH   TEMPS   MARCH    PRECIP
 APRIL JET STREAM   APRIL  TEMPS   APRIL  PRECIP
 MAY JET STREAM    MAY   TEMPS   MAY   PRECIP

 

   IF THE LA NINA   HOLDS  AT MODERATE  / STRONG INTENSITY  THJU SUMMER OF 2008