Breaking News
More () »

Here's what you need to know now that El Niño has developed

The Climate Prediction Center released an advisory announcing El Niño conditions are present and expected to strengthen into winter.

WASHINGTON — El Niño Southern Oscillation has two phases: the warm phase, El Niño, and the cold phase, La Niña. All signs have been pointing to a developing El Niño with warming sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, and the Climate Prediction Center officially announce El Niño has arrived. 

El Niño typically occurs every 2 - 7 years.

This pattern typically results in drier and warmer than normal conditions across the Northern Plains and Midwest with wetter and cooler conditions across the southern part of the country. For the DMV, this should mean relatively normal conditions, if not a bit drier than normal.

Credit: WUSA Weather

The effects of El Niño across the United States are typically weak during the summer months and more pronounced starting in the late fall and winter.

The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that by winter, there will be an 84% chance of a greater than moderate strength El Niño.

Credit: WUSA Weather

A moderate to strong El Niño during the fall and winter would mean wetter than average conditions from southern California to along the Gulf Coast and drier-than-average conditions in the Pacific NW and Ohio River Valley. This would not be good for snow lovers!

As far as the impact on hurricane season goes, this set up typically brings more wind shear to the Atlantic which makes it more difficult for hurricanes to form. Because of this, the National Hurricane Center has forecasted a below average to near-normal hurricane season.  

WUSA9 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the WUSA9 app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.

Before You Leave, Check This Out