El Nino maintaining strength

A weak El Nino continues to persist across the Equatorial Pacific Ocean with sea-surface temperatures remaining slightly above average for the most part. The latest long-range climate models indicate that this weak El Nino will remain in place through the summer months and possibly into the upcoming fall season.

With that being said, slightly below normal temperatures are forecast across portions of the northern Plains, upper Midwest, and western Great Lakes during the month of June largely as a result of this weak El Nino. It is also possible that the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) could still be negative as we head toward June, which would also likely lead to more average or possibly slightly below average temperatures for parts of Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Ohio Valley in June. Slightly less than average total monthly cooling degree days along with lower than average energy costs with respect to cooling are anticipated throughout parts of these regions of the United States.

In contrast, parts of the Pacific Northwest, Great Basin, Desert Southwest, and Four Corners region are projected to see temperatures that average slightly above normal. As a result, total monthly cooling degree days and energy costs are predicted to be somewhat higher than average across these areas.


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El Nino Maintaining Strength

During the past month, sea-surface temperatures have not changed much across the Equatorial Pacific Ocean with most areas still seeing warmer than normal conditions. This means that the current El Nino is maintaining its strength as we head toward the winter season.

The latest long-range climate models indicate a 95 percent chance that El Nino will persist through the upcoming winter. Most of these models now suggest that this El Nino will begin to weaken next spring, but this will have to be monitored in the months to come. As for the temperature outlook for the month of November, slightly above normal temperatures are projected across portions of the Northeast, Great Lakes, upper Midwest, and Pacific Northwest. Total monthly heating degree days are expected to be at a deficit of between 20 and 50 throughout these regions of the country.

Energy costs with respect to heating may also be slightly lower than average during the month of November in these areas. On the flip side, parts of the central and southern Plains are forecast to see slightly below normal temperatures, which will likely result in a monthly surplus of heating degree days and slightly higher energy costs. On a whole, temperatures are expected to average close to normal across the Southeast, Deep South, Desert Southwest, and much of the Rockies and Mid-Atlantic.