Waiting For a Cool Down

When we last checked in on El Nino and La Nina in July, we were under a “La Nina Watch” and we were expecting a “La Nina” to develop in the next few months.  Just to refresh your memory, when the ocean water near the Equator in the eastern half of the Pacific Ocean (near South America) gets cooler than normal by at least 1/2 degree Celsius, we call that “La Nina.”  Currently, the water in that area is right on that borderline…about 1/2 degree Celsius cooler than normal.  So, “La Nina” is coming, right?!?

Not exactly.  Earlier this week, forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center dropped the “La Nina Watch” with their latest update.  The problem is that most of the computer models that predict this sort of thing now indicate that water temperatures will actually rebound to near normal, as this graphic from NOAA’s climate blog shows…

That’s a big change from previous computer model projections from earlier this summer.  Plus, other signs of a developing “La Nina” that we would typically observe in the atmosphere either haven’t been there or have been very weak.  However, a “La Nina” isn’t totally out of the question.  History tells us that the odds of a “La Nina” developing after a strong “El Nino” are pretty good and we just witnessed a VERY strong “El Nino.”  A “La Nina” developed almost immediately following the last strong “El Nino” of 1997-98.  But, it took almost a year for a “La Nina” to develop after the “El Nino” of 1982-83, as this graphic from NOAA’s climate blog shows…

Bottom-line, forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center now believe there is only a 40% chance of a “La Nina” developing this winter.  So what does that mean for our winter here in New England?!?  It means “stay tuned” because we don’t have any obvious clues this time.

In the meantime, how about some fall weather?  Coming right up!  We have a front draped over Southern New England.  While the bulk of the day will be dry, the front will be the focus for some spotty showers so keep an eye to the sky if you have outdoor plans.  Most of us will be on the “cool” side of the front where temperatures will only top out in the upper 70s.  South of the Pike and away from the coast temperatures will warm to the low and mid 80s.  Meanwhile, CT will be on the “hot” side of the front and will see temps climb into the 90s once again.

A strong cold front brings us a much better, but very brief chance of rain around midday Sunday.  Thunderstorms are also a possibility on Sunday until early afternoon.  Skies clear quickly late Sunday afternoon and the weather gets beautiful.

Sunny skies with temps in the 70s and fall-like humidity levels sums up what will be a very pleasant Monday.  After a crisp start to the day on Tuesday, temps rebound to the low 80s by Tuesday afternoon.

Another strong cold front arrives on Wednesday bringing another round of showers in the afternoon.  Behind that front the air is really fall-like…overnight temps in the 40s and daytime temps in the upper 60s to low 70s to finish out the workweek!