cold day

The Big Switch

Weather is never simple.  But the warm weather of the past seven months has some basic causes.  El Niño has warmed the tropical Pacific Ocean and strengthened the subtropical Jet Stream.  A warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has warmed the ocean water off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.  A favorable position…
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The sun shines over the Arctic Ocean Sept. 1, 2009.

World-Wide Record Warm February

Based on satellite observation of infrared data around the world, February was the most anomalously warm month on record.  The satellite record goes back to 1979.  There are two primary causes for the unusually warm weather.  El Niño is responsible for heating the atmosphere in the tropics and mid-latitudes.  But the Arctic has been unusually…
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Not Necessarily A Stormy Summer

Though not unusually high, there has been an active start to the tornado season this year.  Starting in December, there have already been several tornado outbreaks in the South.  It is fairly common for the winter and early spring months to have a higher number of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes when there is an El…
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Summer Drought? Maybe, But Not Because Of La Nina

The El Niño is beginning to weaken.  Sea surface temperatures across the tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean have begun to decline slightly after having been well above average for several months.  This is typical as even strong El Niño patterns have a limited life expectancy. Sometimes, following a strong El Niño, the Pacific will…
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More Than Just Mild

The last five and a half months have been one of the more anomalously warm stretches in the recorded history of Fargo Moorhead weather. Of the 168 days from September 1 through February 15, 129 of them have will have had an above average mean temperature.  This leaves five days exactly average and just 32 days below…
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