Will the current El Nino be a record setter? Will it create bigger temperature and precipitation events than the current record holder that happened in 1997-98?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say for the moment, they do not think so, but it still too early to rule out that possibility.
For the US, this probably means a warmer and drier period from December through mid-March in the North and Northeast and a cooler and wetter period in January through April in the South and Southwest. The December’s temperatures in the Northeast are high enough to be record setters. NOAA says that there is typically about a month’s delay to see the effect in the South and Southwest.
NOAA forecasts of the US weather resulting from El Nino can be seen in the following two charts. NOAA hedges their bet by showing three possible forecast US weather bands. The highest percentage being the most likely. First the forecast temperatures:
The Northern part of the US has a 62% chance of a warm winter. And almost no chance of being cooler than normal. The midsection is a coin toss. The South will be cooler than normal.
The precipitation chart is shown below:
The North is likely to see little snow. The midsection is again a coin toss. The South should be much wetter than normal.
While the bands of weather are pretty hard to get exactly right, they are more likely to be right than wrong based upon the records of temperature and precipitation effects of previous El Niño’s.