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Date: 5/5/2014

Title: El Nino Update and Wet Weather for Many

As we get deeper into 2014 and observe the continued drought conditions in California, the Desert states and portions of the southern Rockies and Southern Plains it is vitally important to keep tabs on a possible developing El Nino later this year and perhaps into early 2015.

The development of an El Nino is critical in the above mentioned areas as it could spell some relief from the drought. Just above all of the modeling data and recent ocean temperature observations strongly suggest a developing El Nino. This El Nino would be the first one in awhile. Recently, La Ninas (colder waters) have been dominating the Pacific. There is a strong correlation to colder water temperatures in the subtropical Pacific and dryness/drought in California and portions of the Rockies and Southern Plains, so the development of an El Nino (warmer water temperatures) is potentially good news.

As you see in the graphic below, the outlook is for an El Nino to develop and then trend downward around the New Year (red line). This would mean that the best chances for rain in the drought areas will likely develop slowly and be more confined to the fall and early winter season. This will be especially true for California where we may have to go through the normal “dry season” before the rains can be expected (fall and early winter). However, for the southern Rockies and Southern Plains we may have a good chance for some increased rain chances over the next 30 to 90 days.


In the short term (next week to ten days) be ready for some cool and wet weather across the Pacific Northwest, portions of the central and northern Rockies and the Northern Plains. Even dry areas of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas could see some decent rainfall over the next week to ten days.