Empirical studies of climate regime shifts typically use confirmatory statistical techniques with an a priori hypothesis about the timing of the shifts. Although there are methods for an automatic detection of discontinuities in a time series, their performance drastically diminishes at the ends of the series. Since all the methods currently available require a substantial amount of data to be accumulated, the regime shifts are usually detected long after they actually occurred. The proposed sequential algorithm allows for early detection of a regime shift and subsequent monitoring of changes in its magnitude over time. The algorithm can handle the incoming data regardless whether they are presented in the form of anomalies or absolute values. It can be easily used for an automatic calculation of regime shifts in large sets of variables.