The El Nino weather pattern continues - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The El Nino weather pattern continues

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – The music of Ray Charles makes its way through the plaza that bears his name in Downtown Albany. All of the popular selections are playing, but a more appropriate choice might be "Singing in the Rain".

For many people in South Georgia the pitter patter of raindrops is no longer music to their ears, they're just looking for the sun to come out. The reason for all of this rainfall is a weather pattern known as an El Nino. It's formed when cooler than normal water develops off of the Pacific coast. While the cause of its formation is a mystery, its impact on our Winter weather is not.

Woody Hicks from the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center said, "we'll see cooler than normal temperatures and more frequent rain. And so far that's what we're seeing."

And more stormy weather is also often in the forecast during an El Nino Winter.

"A lot of times we set up a condition where we do see violent weather in this region," said Hicks.

But as is often the case in nature, El Nino has some good effects on our weather as well. Last year, with an El Nino in effect, only nine tropical storms formed in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, a well below normal season. If the pattern stays the same this Summer, it could be quiet in the tropics again. But in the weather, change is inevitable.

The good news is that the El Nino pattern that we've been stuck in will eventually end. The bad news is that La Nina can also produce some wild weather around South Georgia.

And since the pattern typically changes every 18 months or so, we'll soon be hearing plenty about La Nina. As you may have guessed by the name...La Nina is the opposite of her cousin. And she causes the opposite effects, especially during the tropical season.

Hicks said, "we have a lot more likelihood of tropical storms in the Summer and Fall."

So while the shift in the water temperatures in the Pacific is inevitable, for now the wet pattern that has been so dominant is expected to continue. Which means that people in South Georgia will have to continue to listen to the rhythm of the falling rain.

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