User Login    
 + Register
News : Changing Pacific temperatures could give the midwest a break on winter weather
Posted by John on 2012/10/21 19:01:01 (456 reads) News by the same author

A climatologist with the University of Missouri is predicting a slightly warmer than normal winter and a little below average precipitation.


"This is consistent with a weak El Niño pattern in the central Pacific," said Tony Lupo, chair of the Department of Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. "The current El Niño is quite weak, and may not even rate as one when all is said and done."
Lupo said the climate data for September 2012 shows a trend from a fading La Niña to a fragile El Niño pattern in the Pacific basin. The equatorial sea surface temperatures there have a strong influence on weather patterns over North America. A persistent La Niña over the last two years was a major reason for the lack of rain over much of the U.S.
An El Niño pattern typically causes a dry period in the Midwestern U.S., while La Niña brings a wet period to that area. El Niño winters tend to be mild over western U.S. and wet over the southern United States, Lupo added.
"The average temperature for December through February here in mid-Missouri, for example, is about 32.1 F," Lupo said. "I think it will range between 32 – 34.5 F this winter. This is based on a continued weak, almost nonexistent El Niño."
Normal snowfall is about 20 inches. "I think most people will see right around 15," Lupo said.
"Historically, a strong El Niño pattern has produced some very cold and dry weather — about 15 percent of the time," Lupo pointed out. "That depends on a trough sitting over the Midwest, though. I don’t think that will happen."
The majority of models indicate that weak El Niño conditions will continue into the early winter, Lupo said. Based on historical records and computer models, there is the possibility of it strengthening around February.
In February, Lupo predicted a continued La Niña pattern for the summer that led to a drought and above-average heat throughout the Midwest from Texas to Iowa.
Too little precip, too late?
MU soil scientist Randy Miles thinks the prediction of more rainfall is good news, but it isn't enough to undo the impact the summer drought wrought on cropland.
"Currently, we are still down about 11 inches of rain if you look at the rainfall over the last 12 months," Miles said. "From October to October, we have received roughly 29 inches of rain, compared to the usual 40 inches of rain that we receive here."
The rains that did fall have been helpful, but they have only been surface rains, he continued. "We need to get moisture into the deeper part of the ground so that we have some saved up for next summer, or we could see a repeat of the crop problems."
Miles said that average or less than average rainfall, along with warmer temps, could be a big problem as any moisture that comes will not stay in the ground for long before it evaporates.
"It’s not just about water for the plants, but water also aids in the decomposition of organic matter — which provides the soil with nutrients – and acts as a transporter for those nutrients to the plants. Without water, the soil will have less nutrients in the ground for the plants in the spring."
From a soils standpoint, Miles said the best-case scenario for the winter is above-average rainfall, high humidity, cloudy days and low temperatures.
"If we get all of this, the rain that does fall would eventually soak down deep into the soil and help provide some moisture for plants during drier times next summer," he said.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/10/24 10:28:48 - Solar Farm Topic Of Economic Development Meeting
2014/10/24 10:25:45 - Livingston County Library Encourages Reading To Young Children
2014/10/24 10:23:16 - Festival Of Trees Fund-Raiser Set For November 28th
2014/10/24 10:18:02 - Bogard Woman Seriously Injured In Accident
2014/10/24 10:13:53 - Unionville Man Injured In Accident South Of Unionville
2014/10/24 4:42:51 - 5 Ways To Tell If Someone Is Cheating On You
2014/10/24 4:29:07 - Six Bodies Identified After Decades In Oklahoma Lake
2014/10/24 4:24:30 - Peyton Manning Rips Broncos' Scoreboard Operator
2014/10/24 4:20:18 - How To Teach Kids To Be Nice Online
2014/10/24 4:14:12 - Police: Missouri Inmate Who Attempted Suicide Dies
2014/10/24 4:09:40 - 1 Taken To Hospital After Being Hit By Train
2014/10/24 4:05:48 - 8-Year Old Scores Touchdown, Team Fined $500, Coach Suspended
2014/10/23 10:42:45 - Disaster Declaration Requested For North Missouri Counties
2014/10/23 10:38:01 - THS Marching Band And Color Guard To Hold Recognition Program
2014/10/23 10:35:23 - Snow Removal Bids Sought
2014/10/23 6:38:04 - Trenton Chamber Ambassadors To Hold Annual Halloween Trick Or Treat Night
2014/10/23 6:30:41 - Chillicothe Firefighters Respond To Vehicle Fire
2014/10/23 6:26:35 - Meadville Teen Hurt In Accident East Of Laredo
2014/10/23 6:23:59 - Spickard Man Injured In Accident East Of Gallatin
2014/10/23 4:46:44 - Giant Gold Nugget To Be Sold In San Francisco
2014/10/23 4:30:00 - The Worst Things To Buy At Walmart
2014/10/23 4:17:35 - Iowa Man Pleads Guilty To Missouri Bank Robbery
2014/10/23 4:09:49 - UK Man Faked Coma For 2 Years To Avoid Court
2014/10/23 4:04:17 - Wife Of Wade Davis Forks Over World Series Tickets As Tip To Server
2014/10/23 4:00:50 - FBI Confiscates Hot-Selling Royals Panties
2014/10/22 6:42:06 - Missouri Livestock Symposium To Be Held In Kirksville December 5th
2014/10/22 4:52:49 - Dead Babies In Winnipeg Storage Unit 'Tragic Beyond Belief'
2014/10/22 4:43:12 - Two Sunken Vessels From World War II Were Just Found Off The North Carolina Coast
2014/10/22 4:34:36 - Partial Solar Eclipse to Darken US Skies Thursday
2014/10/22 4:26:06 - Homeless Man Victim Of Knock-Out Game Attack



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM