El Niño may develop later this year

Reported by: Matt Ernst
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Updated: 3/06 9:49 am
We might have some better news on getting rainfall across West Texas. But we might not.

Yeah, definitely sounds like a weather guy wrote this. The Climate Prediction Center, a branch of the Weather Service, has issued an El Nino watch. This basically highlights their latest forecast of a 50 percent chance El Nino develops this summer or fall. While it's not a guarantee, it is a better long-range outlook than we've seen in some time.

Click here - to read the note from the CPC.

El Nino usually ties with wetter-than-average weather here. El Nino developed 2009 into 2010 and led to a wet year. By late 2010 into 2011 we dipped into a stronger La Nina...which is when this drought started. This isn't the only thing at play, but we definitely prefer the ENSO, or El Nino/Southern Oscillation moving toward El Nino.

In short, there's about an even chance that we stay at a neutral phase or go into an El Nino phase later this year. It's a lot better to measure the rain after it falls, but at least there is some positive news. Let's hope this trend continues.

This is something we've been watching for the past few months. Understand any long-range outlooks are poor for specifics on when and where.

Dr. Jeff Masters as wunderground.com has great blogs covering long-range outlooks. He has an entry by guest writer Michael Ventrice from WSI, who shows reasons why we may head into a strong El Nino. It's got a lot of weather lingo, but some good information here.

And, of course, I can't mention any of this without the required Chris Farley video.
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