Warmer winter could be possible with El Niño return
H. Rose Schneider reports for the Times Union that the first El Niño climate pattern seen in the Pacific in four years may mean a late frost, and a winter with little snowfall and warm temperatures. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center says temperatures are around 50 percent more likely to be above normal this fall and winter, largely because of the return of El Niño. Paul Roundy, a professor of atmospheric and environmental science at the University at Albany, said, “So El Niño this year is not a normal El Niño event.... This one is special because it came right after a very long period of La Niña.” The last time El Niño was around there were some startling statistics. Christmas Eve 2015 reached 72 degrees, and the earliest 80-degree day in the Albany area was recorded on March 9, 2016. Roundy said, “It was the warmest winter on record.... But we also had one of the coldest nights in a decade.” Roundy said this year the El Niño weather pattern is situated further east, which usually leads to milder winters with less snow. He said, “This one is so far to the east and so strong at this point it’s less likely to go back to the central Pacific.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.