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Typical Weak El Nino Impacts for Winter

September 24, 2012; 4:12 PM ET

As I said earlier, based on current observations and the latest computer ensemble ENSO forecasts, it appears that the El Nino this fall and winter will be a weak one at best.

This is certainly not etched in stone as things can change between now and November, but this is our best forecast for El Nino right now. The strength and position of an El Nino is quite important to the forecaster.

Of course, the El Nino is not the only thing we factor into the winter forecast. We look at analogs, model and observational data must factor in many other natural oscillations. Some of other critical oscillations such as the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and the AO (Arctic Oscillation) are nearly impossible to predict this far out and can fluctuate from one phase to another during weeks time.

Below are the composite temperature and precipitation anomaly impacts from a typical weak El Nino. These maps average out the weak El Nino winters of 1963-64, 1969-70, 1976-77, 1977-78 and 1987-88. Courtesy of Environment Canada. **Keep in mind, other shorter term oscillations (such as the AO, NAO and PNA) can mask the potential effects of an El Nino or La Nina.


You can follow me through the winter on my twitter @BrettAWX. I will be doing more videos on once again as winter approaches.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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About This Blog

Brett Anderson
Brett Anderson covers both short-term and long-term weather and storm forecasts for Canada in this blog for