EL-Nino Update July 5, 2012

Say it’s not so, but we could be very well on the verge of entering into an EL-Nino cycle soon. How soon? The latest forecast issued by the Climate Prediction Center has upped the chances of seeing EL-Nino this year now at 61% with the favorable time period pointing towards the 3rd quarter (July-September).  What does this mean to you? Well it all depends on where you’re living as EL-Nino has a wide array of impacts that are different everywhere around the globe.

Here are a few impacts that may be felt in the United States if EL-Nino does occur. The overall upper level pattern will start to shift to more strong winds aloft in the Southern portion of the US, which is great news for the Hurricane Season–it could very well put the lid on the season early and end it if El-Nino gets going before September.  The strong upper level winds will shear any storm, not allowing it to get very strong as hurricanes need to have a vertical column of air uninterrupted by winds–also known as wind shear.

The second major impact would be that the storm tracks coming in from the West Coast would slowly start to shift further southward on their tracks. Instead of seeing storms enter in the Pacific Northwest we would see storms begin to enter in the Southern California region. This would lead to very strong impacts in this region with beach erosion and also stronger storm systems than normal.  Then the storms would move into the Southwest portion of the United States and bring an increase in moisture to the regions of Arizona and New Mexico and also portions of Colorado.  These storm systems would next extend southeastward into the Gulf Coast region, especially during the fall and winter time period. This is crucial as November marks the second tornado season for the Southeast; this would just amplify the tornado season for this region this coming November. These storms would then rapidly intensify and make their way up the East Coast opening the doors to more chances of seeing winter snowstorms.

A few personal notes that I have taken from the EL-Nino of 2010 was that my Oak tree began to lose its leaves in the month of October, were as last winter it didn’t lose them completely until almost February and only for a short period of time, so I guess I will be watching the Oak tree for indications. The second note I have noticed over the month of June along the Gulf Coast many places were hit with enormous amounts of rainfall; this could yet be another pre-cursor to EL-Nino starting.

As of July 5, 2012 the Pacific waters were continuing to show signs of warming which is a key indicator in the development of El-Nino.  Another thing that we will have to watch this fall and into winter is how far the Jetstream sinks southward, the farther south I believe is an indicator for the stronger the EL-Nino will be and that also has different impacts on the weather if the jet stream starts sinking farther south.

Well the boxes are becoming better checked towards it being and EL-Nino period, we now just have to wait and see, but the indications are starting to show up.

redOrbit.com Meteorologist Joshua Kelly