The World Meteorological Organization reported this week that this year's record-breaking El Niño has passed its peak. The assessment was based on measurements of temperature, wind and atmospheric pressure conditions.
But while this is technically true, the lead El Niño forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center told the Associated Press that there will be a few months lag time before the changes affect the Americas. We should still expect El Niño conditions through at least the end of April and maybe into May as well. This could mean big snow for areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.
Mild and dry weather in the North American west had skiers and snowboarders in February wondering what happened to the super El Niño. A persistent high pressure ridge has dominated the weather pattern throughout the month (except for this California storm), although forecasters now believe that the ridge should break down sometime in March.
- El Nino weakens a tad [Lake Tahoe News]
- El Niño Hiatus: When Will the West See Snow Again? [Curbed Ski]
- This Year's Monster El Niño is Making Everyone Want to Ski [Curbed Ski]
- Dud El Niño is Weakening, But Could Still Go Out With a Bang [Curbed LA]