El Nino Could Lead to a Tame Winter
Posted: Oct 29, 2014 11:39 AM CDT | Updated: Oct 29, 2014 1:45 PM CDT
Provided in this blog is a visual from the Climate Prediction Center, that gives you the big picture on the overall weather pattern here across the nation when an El Niño develops during our winter months.
In the picture, you'll notice two separate branches of the jet stream; a Polar Jet and a Pacific Jet. Remember, the stream is a narrow channel of fast moving air found about 6 and a half miles above the Earth's surface. This channel of fast moving air forms at the boundaries of adjacent air masses with significant differences in temperature and serves as our storm track. When an El Niño develops, the jet stream can appear split, like in the picture. This split flow can provide a quieter, drier weather pattern here across Wisconsin. Why? Because neither jet stream is found right over southeast Wisconsin. Since the jets steer storms across the country, storms that build have the potential to flow north or south of the state. Plus, another benefit of a split flow jet stream is the coldest air will be locked north of that polar jet. That's not to say we won't at times see the jet buckle and send storms and cold blasts our way, but the overall winter may keep us in between the action. Of course, weather is fluid so please check back here for updates as we head into the winter season!