El Niño Is Coming. But When?

El Niño Is Coming. But When?

Climatologists predict the current super-strong El Niño will bring another rain-drenched fall, winter and early spring to Texas.

Okay, that’s fine, but when? Many farmers needing moisture now are wondering when they can expect the promised moisture to arrive, according to weekly reports by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county agents.


“It depends upon where you’re at, really,” said Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, state climatologist and Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University, College Station. “The effects seem to come sooner in the northern part of the state than in the southern part of the state.”

Unfortunately, September is too soon to expect wetter conditions related to El Niño anywhere in the state, he said.

“But once we get in October/November, the northern two-thirds of the state should generally start to see above-normal rainfall,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “Basically anywhere from the Winter Garden south tends to see delayed effects of El Niño.”

For South Texas, the enhanced wet conditions tend to be concentrated in December, January and February, he said.

“And often times there will be a dry month in the northern part of the state during those months,” Nielsen-Gammon said.

A large part of the state has had drier than normal conditions this summer, he noted.

“We’ve had a dry swath that has run across north central, northeast Texas and down through central Texas, and along the Mexico border as well.”

There’s no sure reason why this dry weather occurred, but one conjecture is that it is connected with “how temperatures evolve when you’re coming out of a drought into something that favors rainfall,” Nielsen-Gammon said.

“So far it hasn’t been very different from 1957,” he said. “When the 50’s drought ended, we had a very wet April and May, and then the summer was dry, and some places got back into drought before we started above-normal rainfall again in the fall.”


Source – AgriLife Today