As I’m sitting here, dampened by yet another rainy day in the middle of July, I can’t help but wonder what the heck is going on with the weather? This summer has been particularly strange, at least here in New York. We’ve always had the occasional summer thunderstorm, but this year it feels like we’ve been under a constant deluge since spring. I’m exaggerating of course, but I think we’ve certainly had more than our fair share of rain thus far. And according to the forecast, there’s plenty more sogginess to look forward to in the coming days.
With all the talk of global warming and people’s deleterious effect on the environment, the paranoid in me is getting riled up. I wonder whether this is just part of the natural cycle of weather patterns or if this is an indication of something worse. I’ve recently read that that El Niño is on its way. Could that have something to do with this infernal soaking? How will El Niño affect weather in various parts of the country in the coming months? What is El Niño anyway? There must be some weather-head Answers users out there to help me figure this out!
First, I guess I need to figure out exactly what El Niño is. For that, I turn to retired research meteorologist 1ofSelby’s, who has answered quite a few questions in the Weather section. His explanation is too detailed to reproduce here, but check out his answer to gain a better understanding of El Niño and how it differs from La Niña. Answers user uni-verse further helps us understand the mechanics of how El Niño and La Niña episodes are caused by ocean currents and global weather patterns.
As for the positive and negative effects of El Niño, both ridonculous and DustinDawind offer some interesting answers in response to that exact question posed by Ty. Matt answers a very similar question, focusing on how El Niño specifically affects the Atlantic hurricane season, a subject of particular importance in my region. I’ve learned that El Niño can be especially dangerous on the West Coast, in particular California, so for more on that I turn to our current top answerer in the weather section, cyswxman, who assures us that Southern California is probably in for an especially wet winter.
Thanks to all of these wise and informed weather experts, I can safely say that this irritating rain is probably just part of New York’s natural weather cycle and not indicative of anything more worrisome. I also have a clearer understanding of El Niño and La Niña events and realize that they are also just part of earth’s natural weather cycle. I guess I can safely lay my paranoid fears aside. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to run to the hardware store to buy some wood for my ark.
Have you been experiencing any unusual weather where you live? And how do you think this year’s El Niño will affect your area in the coming months?
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