Experts Say El Niño Likely To Stick Around This Summer

Chris Sommer
May 09, 2019 - 4:39 pm
Weather, Thunderstorms

Credit: J.Burkett Photo

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DALLAS (KRLD) - Will it be a wetter-than-normal summer in North Texas? Could be. What about below average temperatures during the summer months? Better stay tuned on that one.

The new update from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center says the current El Niño weather pattern likely will remain in place through the summer, and could linger into the fall. The latest advisory issued Thursday by the NWSCPC says there is a 70% chance El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere this summer, and a 55-60% chance it will stay into fall.

El Niño and its counterpart, La Niña, are climate patterns that impact weather patterns around the globe. An El Niño typically means wetter and cooler conditions, while the opposite generally occurs in a La Niña.

In Fort Worth, National Weather Service Meteorologist-in-Charge Tom Bradshaw said, "we're currently in a weak El Niño now, and that's probably contributing to the wet weather that we've been seeing over the last month or so. And, the current indications are that we're going to continue with that weak El Nino all the way through the summertime before it finally kinda fizzles out and translates to more of a neutral condition this fall."

The continuing presence of El Niño could benefit North Texas in several ways. Bradshaw said, "the more rain we get in May, a lot of times that will lead to a wetter June. And the net effect of all that is that it tends to delay the onset of the true summertime Texas heat we're all accustomed to. So, in a sense, it is good news."

Bradshaw said El Niño could bring more rain than usual in July and August, but the pattern won't necessarily mean below-normal summer temperatures. "It's really kind of a mixed bag. You know, sometimes there is kind of a lean toward cooler and wetter summers, and then other summers when we have weak El Niños, you really see no effect," he said.

The current El Niño gets some of the credit for the recent mild winter and for what has been a relatively-wet Spring to this point. DFW International Airport has picked up just over 15" of rain so far this year. That's a surplus of nearly 2 1/2 inches.