El Niño and La Niña
Many large-scale weather elements contribute to the winter patterns we see over North Central Texas. Recent research has revealed that the El Niño and La Niña may play a significant role in the conditions we experience.
What Are They?
El Niño and La Niña are fluctuations in the oceanic and atmospheric circulations lasting for several months. Their most recognizable feature is a warming or cooling of the waters in the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean. El Niño can occur if the waters are warmer than normal and La Niña can occur if colder than normal waters are observed in this area.
How Do They Affect Us?
El Niño winter: North Central Texas typically experiences cool but not exceptionally cold temperatures. The area also tends to receive above-normal precipitation.
La Niña winter: Characterized by warmer than normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation over North Central Texas.
Winters with neutral conditions, neither an El Niño nor a La Niña, tend to be near normal on the average. However, our most extreme winter events tend to occur during near-neutral winters.