What's with This Weather...el Nino, La Nina....is This the Year of the Little Weather Kids
I'm somewhat of a "weatherholic," (is that even a word, probably not)? Anyway I tend to manage my life by the weather, I can't start my day without knowing what the weather is, and not just where I live, any, and everywhere that weather is reported on. The nightly news, especially the weather is part of my nightly ritual. I don't consider myself a meteorologist, or anything even close. However, when I hear a major weather story I am transfixed to the TV, computer, or radio, until it subsides, and, if it lasts for weeks, oh well. I happened to be in Atlanta during Katrina, and I was transfixed to the TV, continually, (I digress), back to the subject at hand. I guess that's why when I first heard about El Nino I was intrigued, that was about 25 years ago. Incidentally that was probably when the article appeared in National Geographic circa 1982-83, calling that event one of the worst El Nino's up to that point. That year the global catastrophe killed around 2,000 worldwide and caused over 13 billion dollars in damage. So, when I hear rumblings about El Nino, La Nina, now, I sit up and take notice. I also vividly remember El Nino of 1997-1998, more about that later.
Within the last few years, the weather has been wreaking havoc worldwide. What with Katrina, the recent Tsunami's in the South Pacific and other harsh weather conditions. Now comes rumbling about El Nino, within the last few months, promising, according to some experts, to be one of the more devastating occurrences, of El Nino.
I'll attempt to share some of my understandings of El Nino and La Nina from what I've read, so if somewhere along the line, I miss a point or two, please correct me. There is a plethora of information on the subject and I've read quite a bit, however at this time I won't go into the subject in too great a detail, just enough for laymen like most of us to understand the basics.
A few weather facts about both El Nino and La Nina.
- Rain and flooding along the Pacific coast
- Warm water disrupts food chain of fish, birds, and see mammals
- Tornadoes and thunderstorms in Southern US
- Fewer than normal hurricanes in the Atlantic
- Snow and rain on the west coast
- Unusually cold weather in Alaska
- Unusually warm weather in the rest of the USA
- Drought in the southwest
- Higher than normal number of hurricanes in the Atlantic
What is El Nino and La Nina
El Nino, pronounced (El Nee-nyo), meaning "Little Boy," is the warming of water in the Pacific Ocean.
La Nina, pronounced, (Lah Nee-Nyah),meaning "Little Girl," is the cooling of water in the Pacific Ocean.
El Nino is more prevalent than La Nina, however both are considered the most powerful phenomenon on the earth, which alters the climate across more than half the earth.
El Nino has an "abnormal effect on the main components of climate-----sunshine, temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, cloud formation, and ocean currents." This being a global occurrence. Apparently all of the components of this condition have to be in sync for it to be considered an El Nino. So my understanding is one particularly bad weather condition, such as a Tsunami, Hurricane etc. does not in themselves indicate an El Nino condition. To reiterate, all components must be in place before experts declares an El Nino condition.
El Nino usually starts around Christmas, and can last up to 18 months from start to finish. El Nino is a traveling or oscillating weather pattern that leaves in devastation it's wake. It's considered nature's vicious cycle
Are we in an El Nino Year
I haven't spent much time on La Nina in this article, because, well, for one reason, it would make it a very long read, and another reason it appears that La Nina does not pack as much of a wallop as El Nino. So, I'll just leave it for another time. Now back to El Nino.
According to reports we are in an El Nino year. The explanation is so complex, I'll just give links for further perusal.
El Nino Forecast
- Global Warming May Dent El Nio\'s Protective Shield From Atlantic Hurricanes, Increase Droughts
El Nio, the periodic eastern Pacific phenomenon credited with shielding the US and Caribbean from severe hurricane seasons, may be overshadowed by its brother in the central Pacific due to global warming, according to new research. Could lead to mor
- El Nino Forecast (Stormsurf)
This is one article that gives an overall prediction of this year's El Nino.
Prior Recorded El Nino Years
1902-1903 1905-1906 1911-1912 1914-1915 1918-1919 1923-1924 1925-1926 1930-1931 1932-1933 1939-1940 1941-1942 1951-1952 1953-1954 1957-1958 1965-1966 1969-1970 1972-1973 1976-1977 1982-1983 1986-1987 1991-1992 1994-1995 1997-1998 2002-2003
Of these years the 97-98 event was the strongest ever recorded.
According to the National Weather Service, (Climate Prediction Center): "The expected impact of El Nino during November 2009-January 2010 include enhanced precipitation over the central tropical Pacific Ocean and a continuation of drier-than-average conditions over Indonesia. Tor the contiguous United States, potential impacts include above-average precipitation for Florida, central and eastern Texas, and California, with below-average precipitation for parts of the Pacific Northwest. Above-average temperatures and below-average snowfall is most likely for the Northern Rockies, Northern Plains, and Upper Midwest, while below-average temperatures are expected for the southern states."
That paragraph in a nutshell should give us enough to prepare for this year's El Nino events.
August, 2010, from all appearances we are actually in an El Nino Year. The numerous adverse weather conditions, such as freak storms, unusually (worldwide), warming trends, all point to that fact. So what are we to do? NOTHING! Just wait it out. Of course there might be precautions that we can take depending to our specific location. If that be the case then we should do that, barring that, "just wait it out."
Pictures of El Nino Southern Oscillation of 1997-1998
1997-1998 El Nino
- U.S. Global Change Research Information Office
U.S. Global Change Research Information Office. Provides access to data and information on climate change research, adaptation/mitigation strategies and technologies, and global warming related educational resources for users worldwide.
So, in conclusion, according to published reports we are in an El Nino year. I always believe forewarned is forearmed, and I've attempted to forewarn, by listing, to the best of my ability, the causes and effects of El Nino. Also, where and what to expect, as far as the experts are concerned, from this phenomenon.
- Some Actions to Anticipate El Nino.
This hub doesn't mean to scare readers on coming El Nino but it is more for our awareness because like it or not, ready or not El Nino is coming. It is forecasted to strike in mid August and will end in 2010....
- El Nino and La Nina -Infant Jesus and Little Girl Phenomenon
What is El Nio ? -It is a climatic phenomenon that increases the temperature of the surface of the Pacific Ocean near the equatorial region. This phenomenon occurs in three years up to seven years...
© 2009 Alfreta Sailor
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