Weather Tidbits: El Niño & Winter
El Niño and its role on the United States in the winter are discussed in this Weather Tidbits. Normally, trade winds (which blow east to west) in the Tropics; push warm surface waters towards Asia. However, in certain years, the trade winds weaken; pushing the warmer water off the coasts of South America which is known as El Niño. El Niño impacts the United States; by having the polar jet more into Canada bringing warm conditions for the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies & Plains, with a slight dip of coolness over the Northeast. The Pacific jet rides along the Mexican & U.S. border and Florida; which produces wet conditions from southern California, Texas, the Gulf Coast and the eastern Carolinas. Dry conditions during an El Niño winter are common for the Ohio & Tennessee Valley.