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What’s With the Weather?

January 11, 2016 - Latest, Naturalist's Notes

Should this winter weather cause concern?

El Niño is the warming of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. It is not a standard or normal phenomenon, but it is periodic. Every 2-7 years this patch of the ocean warms for six to 18 months. El Niño this year is expected to last into the spring of 2016. The temperature of the ocean started to increase in June and was expected to keep increasing until late fall of 2015.

el nino

El Niño is proposed to be at its strongest since the late 1990s, which will have varying outcomes to our weather. What are we predicted to see? The most common effects of El Niño are seen during late fall into winter. El Niño is not the sole factor of these weather changes. It can also be changed by day-to-day variability in the weather pattern.

Get more information in this video.

Commonly El Niño’s affects the United States in the ways listed below:

  1. The Southern parts of the United States are wetter.
  2. Northern parts of the United States, such as Ohio Valley, Great Lakes and the Rockies are drier.
  3. The Southwest, Southern Plains and the Northern Gulf Coast are cooler.
  4. The Northern states from the Northwest to the Northern Plains, Great Lakes and Northeast are warmer.

The above effects are what normally occurs during an El Niño time frame, but are not what will specifically happen.

Prepare accordingly, and don’t expect too many snow days!

Sources: The Weather Channel