Pat Shingleton: "Wet, Cold, The Reasons..."
El Nino's effects may vary throughout the world and are more pronounced during the late fall and winter. The WBRZ Weather Center has been predicting a damp and chilly winter not only here but all along the Gulf coast. The jet stream, a river of air at 25,000 to 30,000 feet, guides and steers our surface features. In any El Nino year, more storm systems will punch across the Southeast, a pattern that we will experience today and next week. El Nino, or the baby, is the term used to describe the above-average warming of the equatorial Pacific. Research verifies that those warmer waters can impact climate pattern shifts worldwide. This El Nino is particularly strong at this time of the year, as validated by experts last month and ranks as one of the strongest on record since 1950. The El Nino event from 1997 through 1998 is believed to be the strongest ever since identification of the phenomenon was first noted. Sea surface temperatures were well above average in designated monitoring regions located in the central and eastern Pacific.The determining El Nino regions rose to their highest levels so far this year .Scientists ha ve monitored low and upper-level wind anomalies, which persisted across most of tropical Pacific; increased storms over the central tropical Pacific; and drier-than-normal conditions in Indonesia. Symptoms of El Nino will linger until late winter, losing steam during the late spring or early summer. So expect more Pacific fronts to ride through Baton Rouge and not as many Canadian fronts that drop our temperatures to the freeze mark or below.