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El Nino Is Building And That Could Mean A Warmer, Drier Winter


A strong El Nino weather pattern is setting up for Wisconsin and the U.P. this winter and if it follows past trends, a local meteorologist says you won't need your snow shovel as much.

WJFW TV Chief Meteorologist Geoff Weller says the weather pattern is building right now...

"....That is a warming of the waters into the eastern Pacific Ocean. What that does is disrupt weather patterns across the U.S. For Wisconsin, that typically sends the storm track further north into Canada which gives us a warmer than average winter and it gives us a drier than average winter...."

That means temperatures are about 6 degrees above average and much drier than average. El Niño means The Little Boy or Christ child in Spanish. La Nina, the opposite word gender is the Little Girl.

Weller says both weather patterns mean different things for the Northwoods...

"La Nina is the cooling of Pacific Ocean waters. It typically builds high pressure over the ocean and gives us a much colder and wetter than average winter. They categorize these from weak to moderate to strong. This is a moderate El Nino building now. It's getting a late start. What does that mean for us? We're just now starting to see the pattern change into a drier than average and warmer than average pattern. But they take some time to build. It's starting kind of late. It's probably going to last into the spring..."

The last El Nino pattern was observed in 2016. A drier and warmer winter could mean less snow for outdoor recreation, but possibly lower heating bills.

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