Winter Forecast

By: Jason Simpson
By: Jason Simpson

If current forecast trends continue, you'll likely need the umbrella more than the sunglasses this winter in the twin states, thanks to El Nino.

El Nino is Spanish for the 'Christ Child,' because its effects usually begin to show up around Christmas in certain years and these effects are felt far and wide as weather patterns shift across the globe.

In an El Nino year, warm waters in the Pacific Ocean near the equator migrate east toward the Americas. The warmer seas temperatures heat the atmosphere above them, fueling thunderstorms that transport heat high into the atmosphere creating a large ridge over the eastern Pacific. The jet stream then moves that moisture toward the U.S. where large storms develop and head right for the deep South. As long as that pattern continues, we can expect more stormy weather across the southern tier of states.

With thin in mind one thing is for sure, El Nino has a big influence on weather patterns. Although El Nino influences weather conditions it cannot always be directly blamed for individual episodes of bad weather such as tornadoes, floods or snowstorms.


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