The bottom line is that recent observations suggest the unfolding El Nino in the tropical Pacific Ocean is not going to reach the strength of some recent strong-to-super strong episodes (e.g., 2015-2016, 1997-1998, 1982-1983) and it appears it is shifting to more of a “central-based” event rather than “eastern-based”. While there are many other factors involved in a weather pattern across the nation in a winter season, a moderate strength and centrally-based El Nino tends to favor a colder, snowier weather pattern across the eastern half of the nation. This kind of El Nino typically results in strong ridging to form near the US west coast which, in turn, favors cold air outbreaks into the central and eastern states whereas a strong, eastern-based El Nino event in the wintertime often simply overwhelms much of the nation with milder-than-normal air.
Stay tuned…we’ll continue to monitor all of this in the coming weeks.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian
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