El Nino considered 85% likely through the winter

Weather phenomenon increases chances for more rain, warmer temperatures

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A weather phenomenon known as El Nino is forecasted to bring some weather changes to the United States by the end of the summer.

El Nino can be described as an unusual large warming of ocean water, which happens every few years. It can bring weather changes, but it should be noted that El Nino is not the sole driver of the weather.

Scientists have forecasted an 85% chance of El Nino lasting through the winter of 2015 and 2016. Here in the Northeast, under conditions of a strong El Nino, an increase in rainfall is possible. It could also have an effect on temperatures, explained Michael Rawlins, a climatologist at UMass Amherst.

“Across this part of the Northeast United States, we tend to see slightly warmer conditions than average when we have a strong El Nino in the Pacific Ocean,” Rawlins said.

As for the rest of the U.S., this means that from the southern part of California across the country to the Carolinas, they could see a wetter-than-average fall and winter. Portions of the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes could see drier-than-average conditions, however.

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