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Still on Track for the Strongest El Niño Ever? Fall Update 2015

fall 2015 NINO

Well, it’s no surprise that sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean along the equator are abnormally warm. El Nino is here and this ‘little boy’ is packing a punch. This year’s El Nino could be the strongest since record-keeping began. Sea surface temperatures are running neck-and-neck with warming rates of 1997. Considered to be the strongest El Nino on record until 2015. As El Nino is expected to peak late fall/early winter, here is what we can brace for in the U.S.

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The Northeast: The start of winter is expected to be more mild than normal with fewer sub-zero days. With warmer temperatures, the northeast still could go either way in terms of precipitation.

Where we are banking on El Nino to help is out west. Warmer temperatures are expected here through much of the winter but if this strong El Nino mirrors the strong El Nino of 1997-’98 we could be picking up some much-needed rain across California. Through the wet season of ’97-’98, areas across California doubled the average rainfall totals. Naturally, any forecast this far out must be taken with a grain of salt – but if the rain does come it will be well received. Rain on such dry ground can lead to risks of flooding – especially if too much comes too fast.

Here is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest winter forecast for the lower 48:

Three Month Temperature Outlook
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Three Month Precipitation Outlook
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For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Tracey Anthony

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