El Nino has officially been announced.
El Nino is a global phenomenon that occurs when warmer water shows up in the Pacific Ocean off the South American coast.
This warming of the sea surface by a few degrees can have implications on weather across the globe, we won’t get into the specifics of how all this occurs but instead focus on what this means.
In the southeast U.S. an El Nino event typically will mean slightly wetter and slightly cooler conditions through spring.
Impacts from an El Nino event can last a few months or up to a year, forecasting how long they will last is tricky business.
The current one that was announced on Thursday doesn’t appear to be overtly pronounced and is a more subtle event than others have been in the past.
This means that the impacts from this event during the spring could be minimal, but El Nino can certainly strengthen, and whether or not it will remains to be seen.
If this current pattern continues to hang on into the summer that could be some good news for the Atlantic Basin, El Nino often correlates with stronger wind shear which in turn limits hurricane activity.
The glaring exception to that, however, is the Gulf of Mexico which will continue to operate normally when it comes to tropical season.
So while the impacts of an El Nino may not be overly pronounced it’s still cool to think that our weather in south Louisiana is impacted by water temperatures off the coast of Peru.