Image thanks to oz4caster at Watts Up With That
All during 2015, the climate watchers and holier than thou environmental ones were watching the Pacific Ocean for signs of El Niño, the warm water phenomenon that usually happens in winter and makes a mess of weather all over the world. For the third year in a row, the Pacific looked like it might be setting up, and then might not, and then all of a sudden WHAM! there he was. A strong El Niño that sent massive rainstorms to California, warmer than usual temperatures for winter to the American midwest, and Heaven knows what else making a mess of west coast wildlife.
Fast-forward to February where the midwest is getting snow all of a sudden in the midst of FREEZING temperatures after a big flash flood in December, and the typical winter weather has set in all over the rest of the country, and we all have to wonder just what in the heck is happening.
Well, according to the weather gurus at Watts Up With That, El Niño is going to sleep and his sister, La Niña will be by to visit later in the year. She brings cold water to that same equatorial trough where her warm watered brother hangs out.
The collapse of El Nino in the tropical Pacific Ocean has begun and it will be rather dramatic. The current strong El Nino event reached its peak intensity level in December 2015 and all indications suggest it will completely flip to La Nina conditions by later this year. One of the important consequences of the current strong El Nino event in the equatorial Pacific Ocean was a spike in global temperatures. However, if recent history is any guide, expect global temperatures to drop sharply after La Nina conditions become well-established in the tropical Pacific Ocean – likely during 2017 and perhaps beyond. –Paul Dorian, Vencore Weather, 5 February 2016
Don’t you hate it when the planet can’t make up its mind if it’s warming, cooling, or just the right temperature.
The reality for all of this is thoroughly discussed in the comments of the WUWT post, as well as any comparisons to 1998 when El Niño was far more of a monster than he was this year. (That year he brought us a drought. Go figure.)
In the meantime, enjoy the weather when you can.