by Ken Root
There is a lot of internet buzz about an El Nino weather event forming now in the Pacific Ocean.
We are exceedingly warm across the country today. By the calendar, it is way too early for this to happen. The last time we had a premature spring was 2012, and it was followed by a drought.
A recent weather discussion on Twitter turned to the possibility of an El Nino weather phenomenon returning in 2017.
However, Ryan Martin of Advantage Weather Solutions in Warsaw, Indiana, says the possible return of El Nino is not a story now.
“The reason why I don’t think it’s a story at this point is if you look at it from a sense of where we have some warmer waters in the the pacific right now it’s not in the right spot,” Martin said. “There is one gentlemen that still seems to have a very significant following, put up a map, and drew this triangle around an area of water off of the northwest coast. That’s great, that’s fine, there’s plenty of warm water there, but that’s not in the right spot if we’re talking about the El Nino developing.”
Martin says another place to look for signs of El Nino is just off the Australian coast, where you should see significant pressure difference and easterly winds, neither of which are there yet. Some forecasters are very deliberate in crafting a forecast, and some may just rely on computer models and what they’ve seen in the past.
“My thoughts are, we’ve come along way with how computer models dictate forecast. What I mean is there are some of us that like to look at models as guidance, but still try to craft our own forecasts around pattern recognition and what we know and what we’ve learned over the years of doing this,” Martin explained. “There are a lot of other people that like to take in models and run with it. Those kinds of people like to look at things like El Nino, and look for a quick and easy kind of forecast solution based on what has happened in the past. If you follow weather, you know weather can be different from year to year. ”
Martin says it’s important to remember that you can’t believe everything you see or hear on social media, especially when it comes to weather discussions.
It’s also important to remember that El Nino isn’t an every-year phenomenon either.
“There has been times we have gone four, five, or six years between El Nino episodes. That’s another reason why it’s baffling to me how people hop on this band wagon and get all excited about it.” Martin concluded.