A strong El Nino tends to bring lots of rain to Central Texas, and meteorologists say the latest El Nino is continuing to grow stronger.
“The forecaster consensus remains nearly unchanged, with the expectation that this El Niño could rank among the top three strongest episodes as measured by the 3-month SST departures in the Niño 3.4 region going back to 1950.”
Via KXAN Weather blog
Why does it matter? If she arrives early, say mid- to late-summer, we could have another dry scorcher. Then, as she strengthens in the fall into the winter, a warmer and drier winter. Or not.
The LCRA’s Bob Rose is on board for her early arrival, along with NOAA and Accuweather’s Joe Bastardi. But Anthony Watts at WUWT has a neat nay-saying article we might cross our fingers on. Because, among other things, La Nina would bring a stronger hurricane season. Which, this year, could mean pushing much more of that Gulf crude oil much farther ashore into Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Maybe even turn it the other way and push some of it into Texas.
Well, a reasonable chance for some tomorrow night, anyhow, which will feel good after today’s hundred degree heat (it’s 100 in the city at the moment). But the real chances, according to the federal Climate Prediction Center begin in October and last through April of next year. Thanks to the anticipated return of El Nino, they’re forecasting precip to be above normal for that period. After two years of dry, that would be sweet.
Via KVUE’s Mark Murray.
That’s the apparent forecast, according to KVUE chief meteorologist Mark Murray, and the latest data on the El Nino Southern Oscillation, which is oscillating in an unfortunate (for us) direction:
"These trends in surface and subsurface ocean temperatures indicate that the warm episode (El Niño) is weakening. It is still possible for some areas to experience El Niño-related effects during the next month, primarily in the region of the central tropical Pacific."
One supposes that the normal (i.e. non-El Nino) Central Texas spring could still bring us abundant rainfall by the end of May-June, but Mark didn’t seem too optimistic about it when we spoke last night. Lake Travis remains really low, and its manager, the Lower Colorado River Authority, recently took the unprecedented step of denying what remains of its water to Texas rice farmers down on the coast.