Thursday, March 3, 2016

El Nino

What exactly is an "El Nino" anyways? It's been the talk of the year and personally, I don't think it was much of anything special or extraordinary, considering we've only gotten like two good storms that left significant snow and next to no rain... however it is only March... Well, I decided to do some research and this is what I found: El Nino, in Spanish, refers to the "Child Jesus" due to the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean that are warmest during Christmas time. The opposite of El Nino is La Nina which stands for "the girl child". El Nino effects both temperature and rainfall, globally. El Nino is the cycles of warm and cold air, measured by sea surface temperature, off the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. El Nino is short for El Nino Southern Oscillation (aka ENSO). El Nino is a prolonged warming of the Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures that leads to warmer than normal temperatures and typically, more than usual rainfall. Usually, El Nino happens in irregular intervals of anywhere between two to seven years and can last anywhere from nine months to two years! When it lasts for only seven to nine months, it is considered "El Nino Conditions" and when it lasts longer than that, it is considered an "El Nino Episode". The first signs of an El NiƱo are a weakening of the Walker circulation or trade winds and strengthening of the Hadley circulation. -Rise in surface pressure over the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, and Australia -Fall in air pressure over Tahiti and the rest of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean -Trade winds in the south Pacific weaken or head east -Warm air rises near Peru, causing rain in the northern Peruvian deserts In a nutshell, El Nino is supposed to bring us warmer and wetter days. It is completely natural and makes up for drought years. So I say, bring on the rain!!!