El Nino could cause above normal temperatures in Iowa this winter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Meteorologists are expecting an El Nino weather pattern this winter due to above normal sea surface temperatures near the equator in the Eastern Pacific. Typically, the trade winds will push the warm waters on the ocean’s surface to the west. However, when the trade winds are weaker, the warm water is allowed to stay father east, closer to South America. During an El Nino, the Southern United States typically has a wetter than normal winter, and the Ohio River Valley can see a drier than normal winter. In an El Nino year the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Northern Midwest can experience warmer than normal conditions.
During a La Nina year the sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific close to the equator are below average. A neutral year is when there are average sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific close to the equator.
In Iowa, temperatures across the state tend to be a bit warmer during El Nino years compared to La Nina years and neutral years. Winters during an El Nino can also have close to normal or a little above normal precipitation. If the El Nino is strong, then both the above normal temperatures and the wetter pattern can be more pronounced.
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