Another El Nino this season? It's looking more likely, says National Weather Service

Another El Nino this season? It's looking more likely, says National Weather Service
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - According to the National Weather Service, it's looking more likely that we'll have another El Nino this season.

El Nino often means a milder Atlantic hurricane season but worse winter storms in the south. An El Nino watch has been issued for the fall and winter, meaning cooler, wetter weather is more likely for most of the U.S.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) estimated the chance of an El Nino -- a cycle that begins when warm tropical Pacific water moves east -- at 50 percent during the fall, rising to 65 percent during the winter. A CPC advisory stated:

"The forecaster consensus favors the onset of El Nino during the Northern Hemisphere fall which would then continue through the winter. These forecasts are supported by the ongoing build-up of heat within the tropical Pacific Ocean."

El Nino -- "the little boy" in Spanish, a reference to Jesus, so-called because the Pacific Ocean near South America is usually at its warmest near Christmas -- can cause increased upward air motion in the atmosphere leading to above-average rainfall in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This, in turn, can shift weather patterns across the globe.

One common impact is to shift the occurrence of tropical storms away from the Atlantic Ocean, potentially reducing the Atlantic hurricane season which began June 1.

However, nothing comes without a cost -- the CPC says that the trade-off for less hurricane activity is better chances for severe winter in the southern half of the U.S.

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