Rob Guirino reports for Live Weather Blogs, The Weather Pros, and Snow Plow News on the current status of El Nino, has it peaked?
What is El Nino?
Its been over 116 years since there has been no snow in upstate in New York this late in the season. The El Nino weather phenomenon can wreak havoc with the normal weather patterns of North America, so watching the current status of an El Nino event is a constant activity for a meteorologist. El Nino literally refers to “Christ Child” since Peruvian fisherman have long noticed that the conditions we refer to as El Nino usually peaked around Christmas time.
An El Nino occurs when there are higher than normal ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean creating warmer air currents as well as higher pressure systems. These pressure systems keep away some of the cold air currents that normally come down from the arctic this time of year. This year’s El Nino was a strong one, with ocean temperatures in places as much as ten degrees warmer than the temperatures for the same places in an average year.
What is the Status of This Year’s El Nino?
This year’s El Nino has indeed peaked and weakened, but its affects have by no means left us. While weaker, this El Nino is still having a strong influence over global weather patterns. The winter season start has not only been pushed back to January; the winter will remain milder than the average year.
How Will El Nino Affect Us the Rest of This Winter?
So what can we expect the rest of this year? Winter will return bit by bit. The arctic jet stream will have its annual invasion on the North American continent yet, but the “Siberian Express” experienced during some winters will not materialize.
There are still opportunities for large snow storms that can drop a foot or more of snow in some places, but we are unlikely to see the huge snow storms like what was seen in the Buffalo area last year.
Where those snow storms will hit and exactly how intense they will be is yet to be seen. We will know the exact location of these winter events when the arctic jet stream begins to show us its planned course of invasion to welcome parts of North America with its habitual arctic blast.
Where that arctic jet stream pushes in will tell us where the next winter storms will develop as it brings the cold air needed for the snow to materialize. These snow storms can be expected in January, February, and even into March for some places in the United States.
Subscribe and stay tuned to Snow Plow News for further Snow Storm updates and be prepared for the big one we might yet see this winter season.