For the last month we've been enjoying rounds and rounds of sunny weather. So everybody is asking what happened to the El Nino pattern? Zack Shields takes a look at why we’re seeing a lull in the rainy pattern and if we are done with impacts from El Nino.
Late in 2015, the warming of the Eastern Pacific was near record levels. Now it's starting to cool.
Looking back at water temperatures in November it was very warm.
Now the warm bubble is shifting to the west. This may explain the latest dry spell.
Usually during an El Nino winter we get 26 rain days. So far this winter we've only seen 13 with a grand total over 3".
Late last year, the warm Eastern Pacific energized the southern branch of the storm track. It gave us the wettest year on record.
Now the tropical flow has shifted to the south and the blocking high sitting out west. We continue to track systems each week but they're coming in from the northwest. These storms usually have less moisture and rain with them.
Keep in mind El Nino events don't always act the same. Even though it's not producing the same outcome as the 1997 event, we won't close the book on this one just yet. All the models show it weakening but continuing through the summer.
El Nino has been influencing the state since last winter causing all kinds of extreme weather. Remember the flash floods in the spring and fall and a flash drought in the middle. If we go by this trend, the dry and tranquil pattern now could turn into a rainy and stormy one this spring.
In fact, the Climate Prediction Center is calling for wetter than average conditions from March to May with a slight enhancement in severe weather.
If you have a weather question feel free to email Zack or check him out on Twitter and Facebook.