El Nino: A Tri-State game changer

Weather oddity usually changes the weather here

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Well, the Tri-State weather may take an unusual turn again in the seasons ahead. The latest from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration indicates we could be set for an El Nino Winter.

An El Nino may form in the Pacific Ocean within six months, perhaps altering the number of Atlantic hurricanes while bringing rain to the drought-stricken southeastern United States. For the Tri-State, most studies show that an El Nino winter often means less precipitation and warmer than usual temperatures during the season. 

The Climate Prediction Center has issued an El Nino Watch because "there is a 50 percent chance" that the central Pacific will warm before the end of the year.

The formation of an El Nino, a warming of the Pacific, can, and usually does, have a major impact on the nation's weather and on energy and agriculture markets. The most immediate impact could be on this year's Hurricane season. Plus, this weather oddity can produce threats to the orange crops in Florida.

El Nino enhances Atlantic Ocean wind shear, which is a change in speed or direction of winds at different levels in the atmosphere. The winds tear at the structure of growing tropical systems, preventing them from organizing or strengthening.

Across the nation, the southern United States can sometimes experience dangerous flooding because of the re-adjustment of the Pacific Jet Stream. This storm track lines up across the south allowing for storms to repeatedly bring torrential rain to that area.

As for our area, while many El Nino years do produce warmer and wetter weather, the intensity of the El Nino outbreak can have a lot to do with the outcome. If you would like to learn more, you can go here.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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