Weather Service issues possible El Nino impacts on South Jersey

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As an El Nino weather condition appears imminent, the National Weather Service Mount Holly Forecast Center has turned to the pages of history. By looking back, Weather Service meteorologists hope to match up this season’s weather conditions with those experienced in the past to determine South Jersey’s weather for the summer of 2014 and beyond. As an El Nino weather condition appears imminent, the National Weather Service Mount Holly Forecast Center has turned to the pages of history. By looking back, Weather Service meteorologists hope to match up this season’s weather conditions with those experienced in the past to determine South Jersey’s weather for the summer of 2014 and beyond. As an El Nino weather condition appears imminent, the National Weather Service Mount Holly Forecast Center has turned to the pages of history. By looking back, Weather Service meteorologists hope to match up this season’s weather conditions with those experienced in the past to determine South Jersey’s weather for the summer of 2014 and beyond.  If it has happened before, it can happen again, says the National Weather Service in identifying two years that closely match the weather conditions we have witnessed in April and May 2014.

Here are their findings and what it means for your future summer plans:

El Nino: the basics

An El Nino condition occurs when the water temperature in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean becomes warmer than normal. Water temperatures have been warming in this area – off South America’s western coast – for several months, prompting an El Nino watch by the National Weather Service.

An El Nino condition can last for several months and affects weather conditions across the globe.

Turning the pages of El Nino weather history

Last week, meteorologists working at the National Weather Service Mount Holly Forecast Center turned back the pages of history to uncover previous El Nino years similar to what we’ve witnessed in 2014.

Ironically, 2014 has been quite unusual.

For the first time in several years, temperatures recorded in both April and May were not warmer than normal. The average South Jersey temperature was cooler than normal in April 2014. The average May 2014 temperature rebounded to an above-normal level, however, breaking a six-month trend.

Only two years match up with a cooler April and a warmer May during an emergence of an impending El Nino: 1986 and 2004, according to the National Weather Service.

What it could mean for the 2014 South Jersey summer weather

In 1986, South Jersey temperatures were about average in June and July, but 2 degrees colder than average for in August.

South Jersey average temperatures were 2 degrees colder than normal in June, July and August 2004.

The National Weather Service uses readings taken from 1981-2010 to determine its averages.

When it comes to rain, the summer of 1986 was about 30 percent drier than normal. However, 2004 was about 30 percent wetter than normal.

So it’s an even wash in the precipitation department.

So if South Jersey experiences those weather conditions this year, many air conditioning units will get less of a workout in 2014 than they struggled through in 2013.

But remember, forecasts are always changing.


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