SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Last summer we were in a La Nina weather pattern, which led to drier conditions across much of our viewing area. This spring we are transitioning into an El Nino pattern.
A La Nina occurs when the ocean water temperatures fall and remain cold. They typically last around 15 and a half months. The longest La Nina on record was 37 months from 1973 to 1976.
El Nino, which we’re transitioning into now, is a warming of the ocean water around Peru and Ecuador. A major El Nino event occurs every 3 to 7 years. They tend to be shorter than La Ninas, lasting around 9 and a half months, the longest one was 18 months in 1986 to 1988.
Here in KELOLAND, that means you can expect to see more rain in the forecast, especially between April and June.
This weather pattern earned its name before La Nina was recognized when a South American fisherman noticed a warm up of coastal waters around Christmas. So El Nino, meaning boy in Spanish, is a connection with the holiday.