Thursday, February 14, 2019

Just in: New El Nino forms--what's the impact for Hawaiian weather?

El Nino is back. What does this mean?

A new El Nino formed in January, "based on the presence of above-average sea surface temperatures across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean and corresponding changes in the overlying atmospheric circulation," according to the Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service.

In Hawaiian waters, the temperatures are still a little cooler than normal, but in the equatorial Pacific, a giant pool of warm water has developed, and it's a sign of ocean-wide changes in the behavior of our atmosphere.

The El Nino has just started, and so far, the evidence is "consistent with borderline, weak El NiƱo conditions."

And there is no clear sign that it will strengthen further or persist beyond the spring season, forecasters say. They give it just a 50 percent chance of continuing later into the year.

So that’s a good sign, it would seem, for the two major issues that El Nino conditions set up for the Hawaiian Islands: increased hurricane activity in strong El Nino years, and winter drought.

For now, stay tuned.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2019

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