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The Return of El Niño

Jan 1, 2003

Anomalies in sea surface temperatures have led NOAA scientists to believe that El Niño will make a comeback this winter. In an unscheduled advisory announced on Sept. 13, NOAA scientists reported that El Niño conditions have developed in the tropical Pacific Ocean and are expected to continue into early 2007. According to Vernon Kousky, NOAA's lead El Niño forecaster, "Currently weak El Niño conditions exist, but there is potential for this event to strengthen..."

According to scientists at NOAA, these El Niño conditions may explain why Atlantic hurricanes have been less active than previously expected.

NOAA predicts that during the upcoming winter North America will experience warmer than average temperatures over western and central Canada and over the western and northern U.S. Wetter than average conditions are predicted for Florida and the Gulf Coast, drier than average for the Ohio Valley and the Pacific Northwest.