El Nino Returns


According to NOAA, El Nino has come once more. This is a cyclical warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific waters which occurs on average every two to five years, and typically lasts about a year. 

Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Eastern Pacific (as of July 1) are at least one degree above average — a sign of El Niño.
NOAA forecasts this El Niño to gradually increase during the next several months.

The event is expected to last through winter 2009-10. The effects of El Nino are typically most pronounced from October through the early spring months. A strong event in 1991/92 made for record floods in December of 1991 with an all-time high level on Austin’s Lake Travis. Lakes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were also way above normal levels.

Since this is likely to be a moderate El Nino, its most likely impact on Texoma will be somewhat above average precipitation and temperatures slightly above average to near average.

El Niño can help to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity as it creates more wind shear over the tropical oceans. An average hurricane season is predicted this year. For the first time in five years, we've seen no named systems through July 10.

El Nino usually brings welcome winter rain/snow to the Southwest, less wintry weather across the North (drier), and rain to Florida and Texas.

El Niño’s negative impacts include severe winter storms in California and increased storminess across the southern United States. An especially vigorous El Nino of 19892-1983 ravaged California with flooding rain and frequent mudslides. Statewide damage was more than $1 billion.

A vigorous El Nino jet stream helped to spawn deadly tornadoes in February of 1998 which killed more than 30 people and did major damage in central Florida.

This is the first El Nino since 2006.

Take Care,

Steve LaNore





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