Experts say there’s a 90 percent chance El Nino could continue through this winter.
El Nino… I bet you have heard the weather term before, but do you know what it means? What does it mean for you?
Well, it’s basically a large climate disturbance. It has a strong influence on weather throughout the world.
El Nino is a weather phenomenon caused when warm water from the western Pacific Ocean flows eastward. It’s the weather system’s first appearance in five years.
So here’s what it can do…
It can trigger heavy rains and floods in South America. It can lead to scorching weather in Asia.
In the United States, it can lead to a quiet Atlantic hurricane season. But it could lead to an active weather pattern for California. In previous strong El Nino events, California has seen a 150 percent to 200 percent increase in rainfall. This is good news for the drought-stricken state.
The El Nino effect for our hurricane season means that there will be storms this year, but not as many. It will help to keep a lid on most hurricane activity. One reason why this happens is because of more wind shear over the Atlantic Ocean.
Wind shear is basically the veering of winds in the atmosphere with height (they blow in different directions from different altitudes). When this happens, storms over water have a hard time developing. These veering winds and prevent a hurricane from getting stronger – or even forming in the first place.
Just remember… El Nino may give us a less active season, but it can’t get rid of every storm this season. All it takes is one. So be ready – just in case.
(sources: NOAA, Accuweather, Miami Herald, Washington Post)