Due to signs of El Nino forming, a University of Missouri weather expert believes our drought will be eliminated this fall. However, long range forecasts are imprecise, so how much stock can we put in this prediction?
Our drought keeps dwindling, and grass keeps growing. "Definitely have to mow a little bit more. The grass has gotten thicker, that's for sure," says Levi Walter.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows improving conditions in our area, ranging from a moderate drought to no drought! "It'd make things greener and the flowers grow, and my wife would be able to plant anything she wanted to!" comments Charlie Hutchins.
University of Missouri weather expert, Tony Lupo, says even more relief is coming this fall. It's because there are signs of El Nino forming, meaning above normal sea surface temperatures in the southern Pacific.
"Ocean temperatures are warming in the Pacific, so that probably does mean El Nino is coming. Traditionally that means slightly higher chances for a wetter fall into the winter," says Steve Runnels with the National Weather Service.Lupo predicts our remaining drought will be eliminated.
"A warming of the ocean out in the Pacific, it's hard to believe that that influences the weather here in the Ozarks," says Runnels. Ultimately, these temperature changes result in changes to the jet stream. This influences weather across the globe. "What is the influence right here in the Ozarks is based on what we've seen in past El Ninos. Sometimes it's wetter than normal, sometimes it's drier than normal," explains Runnels.
A study by a state climatologist shows the precipitation pattern in the midwest during El Nino years. Precipitation was above normal for seven of these eleven years, but below normal for four of these eleven years (in 1963, 1969, 1976, and 1987).
"When it comes to forecasting long range, confidence just is not there," adds Runnels. Besides, the precipitation implications of El Nino years are less precise for us here in the Ozarks. "Here in the Ozarks, El Nino's influence isn't quite as clear as it is say from California into the Gulf coast, where wetter than normal conditions are quite normal during an El Nino."
Before seeing exactly how much rain mother nature delivers this fall we have to get through summer! ...meaning the typical heat, humidity, lightning, and occasional flood threats are the topics of conversation over the next couple of months.
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