How El Niño will look this winter

While the official first day of winter is still weeks away, in some parts of the country, it’s felt like old man winter has already settled in for several weeks now.

Meteorologists say the naturally occurring climate pattern, El Niño is driving unusual weather patterns across the country this year.

While the shift caused by warmer-than-average ocean temperatures, typically brings wetter and cooler weather to the south, northern states become drier and warmer.

“It’s important because it changes the tropical rainfall patterns across the Pacific Ocean which changes the jet stream in the Pacific Ocean and across the North American continent,” said Jon Gottschalck a National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Chief. “Those changes can result in warmer or colder or wetter and drier conditions than say normal general conditions.”

Already this fall, El Niño has made Texas wetter than normal, improving drought conditions, after record-high temperatures and little rain throughout the summer months.

Wetter doesn’t necessarily mean more snow, since for flakes to form, it would still need to be cold.

“People need to prepare for both inside and outside their house with respect to the normal preparation gear: batteries, flashlights, things of that nature to be prepared for power outages or getting stuck traveling,” Gottschalck said.

El Niño is expected to peak in the next month and it’s influence is expected to last into the spring of next year.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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