A years’ worth of predictions is finally coming true as El Nino is now gaining strength. This sloshing effect in the Pacific Ocean that changes weather patterns in parts of the globe is now well underway, about 6 months after it was originally anticipated. Better late than never for folks along the West Coast as an El Nino winter brings their best opportunities for above average rainfall. Check out sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific as compared to normal from a couple weeks ago…
Many spots are 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit) above average. This may not sound like much, but a few degrees warmer or colder for such a vast expansive mass can have HUGE implications on the weather around it. It’s this warming of the water in the eastern Pacific that changes rainfall patterns globally. So how strong is this El Nino? Well, so far it appears to be surpassing a weak one and heading straight for moderate to strong. Here is the current El Nino index which shows sea surface temperatures as compared to normal.
Most of April and May was slightly above average by about a degree. But recently, that number has continued to climb and is now close to 2 degrees, with little signs it will stop. In fact, forecasting models continue to show a pretty drastic climb in the number….
Current forecasts show temperatures anywhere from 2.5 to 4 degrees higher than normal by the fall which would put this El Nino in record territory, competing with winter of 97-98. That winter, much of California received more than twice their average winter precipitation and was the last “good” year for state moisture. It’s these same conditions that often bring warmer and drier winters to Minnesota.