El Nino Expected Later This Year; What Does It Mean For Us?

Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): Our triple-dip or 3-year La Nina that began three years ago this summer has faded and El Nino looks to return later this year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced in early March that La Nina ended. This is essentially a cooling of the waters in the Equatorial Pacific that influences global weather patterns. The latest trends support the development of an El Nino pattern later this year.

Warm water in the western Pacific is moving east and replacing the cool anomalies that have existed for the past three years. Forecast guidance is all in agreement on the development of El Nino by late this summer into the fall, but the million dollar question is its strength.

In an interview with Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill, Director of the Climate Prediction Center David DeWitt said the forecast guidance indicates El Nino is on the horizon and its biggest impacts include a reduction in number of named Atlantic storms. Temperature and precipitation patterns in the U.S. are impacted in the fall and winter seasons as opposed to the summer.

Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill examined upside/downside risks to rainfall and temperatures in southern West Virginia during El Nino summers and didn’t find any discernible trends.

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