An El Nino fact sheet

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Posted: Mar 8, 2014 6:30 PM by Meteorologist Josh Eachus
Updated: Mar 8, 2014 6:30 PM

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With the possibility of an El Niño developing later this year, here is a list of the things worth clarifying about the phenomenon:

1. There is currently NOT an El Niño

2. The 75% likelihood of an occurrence was offered by a new, recently published means of El Niño forecasting

3. There is typically a 30% chance of an El Niño developing

4. NOAA forecasts a greater than 50% chance of an El Niño developing-- for an event that does not occur frequently, a better than 50% chance is significant

5. El Niño conditions MAY develop later this year, but are NOT a certainty

6. El Niño's can vary in strength and thus have varying impacts on our weather

7. El Niño's greatest global effects over land occur during the winter months

8. El Niño DOES NOT spawn any storms, the warmer ocean temperatures simply shift oceanic and atmospheric circulations which control normal weather patterns

El Niño & the Atlantic Hurricane Season

1. El Niño enhances vertical wind shear in the Tropical Atlantic

2. Greater wind shear tends to INHIBIT tropical cyclone development

3. By no means does an El Niño guarantee a hurricane-free year

El Niño & Louisiana weather

1. El Niño patterns may lead to cooler than average temperatures in the winter and spring months

2. El Niño patterns may lead to greater than average precipitation in the winter and spring months

Stay with the WBRZ weather team as we monitor changing climate patterns.

*Some information courtesy of NOAA & the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.

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