Warmer, Wetter Winter?

By Charlie Nardozzi, October 11, 2006

Trying to predict the severity of the upcoming winter in October is like trying to predict the winner of the Super Bowl in November. But over the years atmospheric researchers have found that one phenomenon seems to consistently impact global weather. El Nino.

El Nino is the cyclical warming of the waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean that affect temperature and rainfall around the globe. This fall El Nino has started to develop and may strengthen through the winter. If El Nino continues, predictions for winter weather in the United States include warmer-than-average temperatures across the west, the southwest, the plains states, the Midwest, most of the northeast, the northern mid-Atlantic, as well as most of Alaska. Wetter-than-average conditions are expected across the southwest from southern California to Texas, and for Florida and the southern Atlantic coast. Drier-than-average conditions are expected in the Tennessee valley, the northern Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii.

For more information about El Nino and its effects on the weather, go to: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

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