El Nino strengthens slightly

During the past month, sea-surface temperatures have warmed slightly more across mainly the eastern sections of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. This trend indicates that the ongoing El Nino has become somewhat stronger. The latest long-range climate models indicate a 90 percent chance of this El Nino’s persisting through fall and as high as an 85 percent chance that this El Nino will continue through winter. This El Nino will affect temperatures across parts of the U.S. for the remainder of summer and into fall.

Slightly above normal August temperatures are forecast throughout parts of the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies and Great Basin. Monthly cooling degree-day totals are projected to be higher than average by between 30 and 60. Some climate models suggest that slightly warmer than normal temperatures will occur across parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Cooling costs likely will be slightly higher than normal throughout both areas during August.

In contrast, temperatures are forecast to be slightly cooler than normal across parts of the central and southern Plains, Ozarks and possibly parts of the Midwest. Cooling degree-day deficits of between 30 and 60 are expected across these areas. The northern Plains, Great Lakes and Northeast will see August temperatures that average closer to normal.

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