What an amazing day of weather. I spent the afternoon showing friends around Portland and with weather like this, I needed to remind them it’s not always this nice, we do have winter as well. Speaking of winter, there’s a lot of talk about this year’s El Nino event which is getting stronger. While El Nino will certainly be a major player in the global weather this winter, here in Maine it doesn’t mean we are going to have a warm and rainy season.

The map below shows how much above and below average water temperatures are as of yesterday. Notice how warm much of the Pacific Ocean is right now.

el nino current

There are many other factors which need to be considered when making a prediction for the upcoming winter. If for example the ocean waters off the coast of the northwestern section of the United States remain very warm, this could in turn develop a jet stream closer to last year’s pattern than one more typical of an El Nino year.

While the El Nino will more than likely bring warmer air into the United States during the winter month, it can also bring more moisture. Temperatures here in Maine can run above average overall and we can still have snow as opposed to rain.

Last winter a prevalence of dry cold air kept the snow very light and void of much water content. This winter is likely to bring a heavier snow overall and a better chance of mixed precipitation. Averages are funny things because it only takes one or two storms to bring up our snow totals and a week or two of mild air to bring up the temperature average.

Later this summer and early fall I will take a more detailed look at the upcoming winter. Until then, just keep enjoying the summer weather and walk quickly by the snow blowers outside some the big box stores already. We won’t need them for a while.

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