Friday, September 11, 2015

El Nino: What does it mean for Utah?

You may have heard that this year is an El Nino year. What does that mean? El Nino referrers to warmer than normal ocean temperatures near the equator in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The anomalous ocean temperatures influences the global weather is some very profound ways. In fact, I've heard from a climate professor that the impacts of El Nino on global climate are only trumped by the annual seasonality caused by earth's tilt rotation around the sun. More info here.

So, what how will weather be different this winter? That is hard to say. On average, the northwest United States tends to have dry and warm conditions during El Nino years and the Southwest tends to be me wet. Utah is stuck in the middle of these two trends. It we could have an average year. We could have a more wet year. Or, we could have a more dry year. But whatever crazy happens this winter I'm sure everyone will make sure to put the blame on El Nino.

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