This time of year, one tends to wonder what the season will bring. Will the winter be severe? Mild? Will this dreary cold linger for long?
Forecasters measure and calculate. While media personalities steal scientific names to sensationalize “polar vortex” observations, scientists more closely watch conditions that form only a few times each decade. This year, they’re still waiting to see if one brewing condition fully develops. It’s named El Niño, which can be loosely translated into “the male child,” … fitting for its arrival near Christmas.
Fundamentally, it starts with a deep layer of very warm ocean water in the Pacific. But, because our weather is effected by the ocean’s interaction with the atmosphere, a host of other conditions are measured before an El Niño is called. For us in Pennsylvania, El Niño has brought us fewer hurricanes and less winter precipitation in the past. Still, much depends on whether or not the male child appears. Today’s likelihood prediction stands at 67%.
What kind of weather do you hope for?