The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has issued an El Niño Watch for the Northern Hemisphere. Here's what that means for Indiana, Kentucky, and beyond.

What the Heck is El Niño?

In Spanish, El Niño means "little boy" and it is the name given to the warm water phase of the climate patterns referred to as "El Niño-Southern Oscillation" or ENSO. ENSO literally impacts the weather around the globe. Likewise, La Niña, or "little girl" in Spanish, is the name given to the cold water phase on ENSO. Both El Niño and La Niña have an incredible impact on our weather here at home in Indiana and Kentucky.

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/elninolanina/otkn_721_elninolanina_lg.mp4

La Niña Has Ended and El Niño Is On the Way

La Niña technically ended last month in March and we entered into what is known as an ENSO-Neutral pattern. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center says that this neutral pattern was expected to continue into summer 2023. However, they have since issued an El Niño watch which means that the conditions are favorable for the weather pattern to develop in the next six months.

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How El Niño Can Impact Indiana & Kentucky

Because the warm water pushes the Pacific Jet Stream southward, it can cause the Midwest to experience hotter-than-normal temperatures. Fox59 reports that we will see "warmer than average temperatures" across Indiana into June. Temperatures for the deep south, including parts of Kentucky are reported to be "well above average." As for precipitation, they say the Ohio River Valley can expect to see some soggy weather with Indiana expected to have an "above-average chance for a wetter-than-average few months"

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When Will We See The Effects of El Niño

NOAA says that there is a sixty-two percent chance that El Niño will develop from May to July of 2023, bringing its effects to our part of the United States much earlier than anticipated. Not only does El Niño mean we could see some mercury-raising temperatures here in Indiana and Kentucky, but according to the NOAA, it could carry over into fall too with an 80-90% chance making it almost a certainty for fall 2023.

[Source: NOAA]

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