Wednesday, May 5, 2010

El Niño, NAO Fade Fast... So What's Next?

Two Major Weather Phenomenon Losing Presence as Climate Variability Now Rules

For the past year we've blamed any and every weather extreme on El Niño and its interaction with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Wait, the NAO? Look, I'm not just talking to myself again. The NAO was really present this past winter and it, along with the famous El Niño warm-water effect in the Pacific Ocean, sent moisture-soaked air up from the Gulf of Mexico as a linebacker high pressure block kept the jet stream on a steady ride up the East Coast, therefore forcing Arctic air deep into the South and throwing a plume of wintry precipitation along the I-95 corridor.

The result: record-breaking cold east of the Mississippi, powerful and damaging tornadoes in the southern plains, dozens of snowstorms and even several epic blizzards across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and historic flooding in the Ohio Valley.

But what about this past weekend's torrent in Tennessee, which caused the city of Nashville to become water-logged, causing the famous Grand Ole Opry to flood? Well, climatologists say that El Niño has weakened so much already that it likely had very little impact on the event, and the NAO has pretty much spun itself out by now. That said, our weather pattern is now largely going to be affected by climate variability, or pretty much whatever happens, happens.

Ever-changing and unpredictable! This blog post has been brought to you by reason # 198,765,499,876,534 why I love weather! Enjoy it, it's the only weather you've got!