“It’s an expectation, it’s not that we’re guaranteeing that it’s going to happen,” said National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Barry Goldsmith. “It’s a lean or a likelihood that it will happen.”
Goldsmith is referring to predictions that the Valley is looking at temperatures that are forecasted to be below-average this winter.
“El Nino is by far the overwhelming reason why we’re looking at those two entities – the cooler than average and the wetter than average winter,” said Goldsmith.
During El Nino, temperatures in the Pacific Ocean will rise five or ten degrees for several months. They can continue that way for as many as 18 months.
“That means you have more available energy in the atmosphere to create thunderstorms and create more active weather, and in some cases, more disturbed weather,” said Goldsmith.
During the winter months in the Valley, temperatures usually average to the 70s during the day and down to the 50s at night. This year, it may be about ten degrees below that.
“Average on an El Nino year would probably be upper 60s during the day and upper 40s in the early morning…not at night but when you actually wake up to go to work in the morning,” said Goldsmith.
Goldsmith says overall, people in South Texas are looking at slightly cooler temperatures, more rain, and more wind this winter.