After a couple of years in a weak EL-NINO or neutral phase as you might say, this year appears as if it will be different. Watching the state of the ENSO for the past several month it appears as if not only are we in an EL-NINO right now but also on top of that it appears as if the EL-NINO will strengthen and peak in January of next year.
It has been 17 years since the last time an EL-NINO this strong was present (1997). This is a little bit of a sneak peak into my winter outlook to come out next month, but When you consider what happened in 1997 during that year, It was one of the warmest winters on record while at the same time one of the wettest winters on record. There has only been one like that in the past 50 or so years, so it is a small sample size. But the most recent moderate EL-NINO was from the years of 2009-2010 where much of the east experienced record snowfall and cold temperatures.
However you have too look at the grand scale of things when considering what your winter outlook will look like. Usually you could say that you should look at October to see what pattern you will be getting into in the winter. This year I would say you should look at October and November.
Another factor involved is that, these are computer projections. Over the past few years we have not reached what the computer models have indicated as it pertains to an EL-NINO event. We are currently as you can see in the figure above at 1.5 which is stronger than the 2002-2003 EL-NINO and the 2009-2010 EL-NINO. There are other factors that must be considered, but if you are a snow lover in the mid-west, the last graphic i will leave you with will not be one you will like. This is not a forecast (winter outlook preliminary to be released September 1st). Things can always be different and in a video coming out Saturday Morning we will talk about one of the less talked about MAJOR snowstorms that came in that 1997-1998 EL-NINO winter. But this is all for now.
-Dante’ Avery Brown-Royal