Weather Whys: El Nino Watch

Weather Whys

We were in a La Nina weather pattern this last Winter and Spring. We’re now in a more neutral phase, meaning, we’re not under the influence of either La Nina or El Nino 

Right now we’re under an El Nino Watch which means exactly what you think. That conditions are favorable for us to slip right into an El Nino weather pattern. According to the Climate Prediction Center, we will more than likely stay in a neutral phase through the Summer. 

As of now, we have a 65% chance of going into an El Nino Pattern for the Fall and and if not then, 70% chance for this Winter. So what does this global pattern mean for North Dakota? 

We could see near normal to slightly lower than normal precipitation. In terms of temperatures, both Fall and Winter could be warmer than average… especially Winter. It’s important to remember this isn’t a forecast. 

El Nino and La Nina are predicted by watching sea surface temperatures. The water along the equator is warmer than normal. If these temperatures keep warming – and models are saying they really could – we’ll slip right into an El Nino weather pattern. 

It’s also important to note that the beginning of this year and the beginning of last year we were under a La Nina Pattern. Both years were vastly different when it came to rainfall. So the take away is that no two El Nino or La Nina patterns are alike.

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