How could El Niño affect the upcoming Minnesota winter?
street. Paul, Minnesota. – Just as 2023 is on track to be one of the hottest years on record – if not the hottest – on record, El Niño threatens to heat things up even further.
WCCO spoke with Dr. Kenneth Blumenfeld, a senior climate scientist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“El Niño is the warming of ocean waters in the tropical Pacific region,” Blumenfeld said. “And as that water gets hotter, it actually changes the winds and changes the current that blows from east to west.”
They are changing global weather patterns. In the United States, the effects are greatest in the winter, with wetter conditions in the south and warmer, drier conditions in the north.
What kind of weather effects could Minnesota have in store?
“On average, non-El Niño winters tend to be a degree or two warmer than non-El Niño winters,” Blumenfeld said, “and that’s very important when you realize you’re getting to the average over the whole season.” “.
Three of the five warmest years have been during El Niño. The last major event was in 2016, which also broke global temperature records.
“The next attack is expected to be very strong. It is not clear whether it will break records or not,” Blumenfeld said.
Dr. Susie Clark is a climatologist and science communicator at the University of Minnesota.
“The El Niño cycle goes back every two to 10 years, which is a fairly large range,” Clark said. “There’s not a lot of understanding yet about exactly what causes this.”
Clark says there is concern among scientists about how climate change and El Niño will interact.
“Because climate change is this long-term trend of increasing global temperatures, and these fluctuations occur on top of it, and so things that may not have been so extreme in the past can become very extreme in the future because we see these compounding factors,” Clark said.
Although many factors, including El Niño, influence global weather patterns, Mother Nature can be unpredictable.
We’ve been in a La Niña weather pattern for the past three winters. This usually leads to cooler temperatures and less precipitation.
(translatable signs) Climate change