El Niño still expected, but will it help?

A storm building off in the distance. (Michael Sunderman/ReportIt)

(KXAN and NBC) — There is a 2 out of 3 chance that an El Niño weather phenomenon will develop in the next month or so, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said Thursday. But will it bring enough rain to ease drought in Texas and the Southwest? Unfortunately, the center said, even though the effect probably will last into next spring, it “will likely remain weak.” In a blog post about the monthly forecast, NOAA said that’s “essentially unchanged” from the previous month’s prediction.El Nino developing temp anomalies

Though there have been exceptions, historically, weak El Niño patterns do not bring significant rainfall to Texas during the winter months–even less than average in some years.

In an El Niño, surface waters in the Pacific warm, and that can bring heavy rains to Texas. In September, NASA said two Kelvin waves — areas of higher sea levels indicating warmer waters — were moving across the Pacific at the equator toward South America. In its post Thursday, NOAA said a Kelvin wave over the past week was moving warmer water to the eastern Pacific.

Read the entire NOAA monthly El Niño update on the First Warning Weather blog.

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