El Nino Rules This Winter? Maybe Not.
Lately the talk has been about El Nino giving us a warm winter. But one school of thought says you might want to think again. There is reason to believe cold outbreaks might be common in the Northern Hemisphere during January and February based on the polar vortex. As you might remember from early 2014, the polar vortex is a mass of cold air in the upper atmosphere sitting over the poles year-round.
Research shows a very strong polar vortex between October and December is likely to weaken a lot during January and February. When this happens, a chunk of this bitterly cold air can break off and head to the United States. This is what happened in January 2014. Also, the current El Nino, or warming of the Pacific Ocean, may increase this phenomenon to happen.
It's hard to say who would get the coldest air, if in fact, this happens at all. The news would be bad news for those wanting a warmer winter or perhaps even farmers. But it could benefit U.S. energy suppliers looking to make a profit. Stay tuned!