Weekly Pacific sea surface temperature animation shows warm water expanding in the tropical Pacific.
El Nino is back.
That’s the word in an update today from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Ocean temperatures have increased to as high as 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit above average in a narrow band in the tropical Pacific. That doesn’t sound like much to you and me, but it’s a big deal in the world of El Nino. If ocean temperatures remain that far above average, it would be one of the stronger El Nino episodes on record.
The effects of El Nino tend to be weak here in the Midwest in summer. It’s a different story in winter. El Nino winters show a strong statistical tendency to be milder than average here in the Upper Midwest. The blooming El Nino may also limit Atlantic hurricane activity this summer and fall. Still, it only takes one strong hurricane landfall in the U.S. to make for a really bad day.
El Nino winters also tend to be wetter than average in southern California, the Desert Southwest and along the Gulf Coast states.
For those of you hoping for a milder winter next year, your chances just went up.