Here Comes El Niño

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    Jul 11, 2009 5:33 AM GMT
    Just when you felt safe to go in the water....here comes, probably, a moderate El Niño. The Climate Prediction Center has just upgraded its El Niño Watch for the upcoming months to an Advisory. An Advisory is the equivalent of a statement that El Niño is now in progress.

    Several of the linked air-ocean models suggest that this could be a moderate to strong event, others are less bullish.

    What does this mean for the US? Generally, warmer than normal temperatures this upcoming winter. A strong signal for above normal precipitation for the entire southern tier of the US south of around 35 degrees latitude. Usually correlated with more severe weather events in the winter in Florida and the southeastern US. Drier than normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest.

    The models have been trending towards a stronger event each time they are run. If this continues, the signal for above normal precipitation would extend north through most of California, southern half of Nevada and eastward.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Jul 11, 2009 1:58 PM GMT
    Fastprof,

    El Nino is a worldwide phenomenon. Usually the entire South East Asia will be blanketed with smoke, haze and dangerous air due to forest fire and burning crop land. You cant even go jogging outside due to all the unhealthy air quality. Even airplane is diverted due to bad visuality .

    Is El Nino coming again this year...oh dear
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Jul 11, 2009 2:31 PM GMT
    I can't remember, how does El Nino affect the Atlantic hurricane season? It means less storms, right?
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    Jul 11, 2009 2:37 PM GMT
    That sucks, this means poor snowboarding potential in the NW next winter.
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    Jul 11, 2009 2:53 PM GMT
    Usually El Niño has meant warmer temps in the Northeast. Right now, we could really use that!
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    Jul 11, 2009 3:02 PM GMT
    jlly_rnchr saidI can't remember, how does El Nino affect the Atlantic hurricane season? It means less storms, right?


    Yes, less storms in the Atlantic but more in the Pacific.
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    Jul 11, 2009 4:24 PM GMT
    DCLifterGuy is right.

    Fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic, more in the eastern Pacific, and a tendency for the ones in the eastern Pacific to be stronger than usual.

    As far as the Northeast goes, it depends upon how strong the El Nino is. If it is very strong, then the Northeast should be warmer than normal.

    I'll just point out that it's early in the development of this thing, which should peak in late winter early spring. The meteorologists involved in monitoring and forecasting this thing will be able to hone in more on impacts in a few months.

    By the way, the stronger the event, the more accurate the forecasts of impacts. We nailed the 1997-98 event, but that was the strongest of the 20th century.
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    Jul 11, 2009 4:45 PM GMT
    El Nino usually mean mild winters here in northern Virginia.....YAY!!!! ... No snow....or so little, it isnt worth shoveling and leaves almost as fast as it falls

    But lots of rain and mudslides in California....bummeer. .... Glad I dont live in California
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    Jul 11, 2009 7:04 PM GMT
    Caslon11000 saidEl Nino usually mean mild winters here in northern Virginia.....YAY!!!! ... No snow....or so little, it isnt worth shoveling and leaves almost as fast as it falls
    As a former weather weenie, I have found this to not necessarily be true. El Nino is a reasonable predictor of the weather in a particular season in the SE, but the weather patterns can vary greatly from week-to-week.

    The entire winter may end up being warmer and wetter than normal, but you can still get a lot of snow in the occasional cold snaps (especially in areas like ours where the average winter snow totals are not that much to begin with).

    I looked back in the record books here in Greensboro, and I saw "snowy" El Nino winters, as well as pretty snowless ones.

    I never felt confident saying anything other than it would most likely be milder and wetter, and stayed away from predicting whether we would have a big snow (or snows).