Of all the weather patterns talked about, El Nino is probably the most familiar. It seems whenever it makes news, it's usually blamed for extreme weather events around the world. The forecast for another El Nino later this year has been a bit challenging. Original outlooks predicted a possible super El Nino like the one in late1997 and 1998.
It now appears that won't be the case, but experts at the Climate Prediction Center say there is still a 70% chance of a weak to moderate El Nino.
That's important to us in the northern plains because El Nino often impacts our weather, especially in the winter. This map shows how El Nino events recorded since 1949 have influenced winter temperatures. While it's not always the case, most El Nino winters are warmer than normal in KELOLAND. While that's not an official forecast, it will be interesting to watch.
Precipitation predictions are less certain, with a slight tendency toward wetter winters in western and northern KELOLAND. For now, it's safe to say we have plenty of time to watch the other emerging factors that will drive the weather patterns later this year.