El Niño is back. Is it to blame for our severe weather woes? : NBC News


After a spring that soaked parts of California and saw destructive tornadoes rip through towns stretching from Texas to Pennsylvania, scientists are paying close attention to how much of the country’s recent severe weather is due to the return of El Niño, a naturally occurring climate pattern that last drove a series of climate anomalies and extremes four years ago.

El Niño occurs when changes in the strength or direction of trade winds cause waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean to become warmer than usual. El Niño events, which happen on irregular cycles that last two to seven years, have far-ranging effects on global temperatures, rainfall, hurricanes and other severe storm systems.

“El Niños are the biggest source of changes in weather patterns around the world,” said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

 

Source: El Niño is back. Is it to blame for our severe weather woes? : NBC

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