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Super El Nino will eventually slide away after March

By Northern News Now meteorologist Dave Anderson

The long, warm winter is now being called “Super El Nino” because this is one of the strongest El Nino Southern Oscillation events ever recorded since the effect was named that by Peruvian sailors in 1892. The pre-Co­lombian name for the effect, which has been around for centuries, has been lost to history.

The term “super” means this year’s El Nino has been making things at least two degrees Celsius warmer than normal. In Fahrenheit, that’s 3.6 degrees. February in Minnesota was around 13 degrees warmer than nor­mal. Could anthropogenic global warming be contributing to the strength of this year’s El Nino? Researchers are studying that right now.

The reign of Super El Nino does have an expiration date. There are signs it will last through March and fade away by April. That’ll probably be too late for any real win­ter around here. Last month, the long-range forecasters hinted that a cooldown would strike in February, but that didn’t last long. So, take March’s forecast with a grain of salt because the long-range crew still says next month will become three degrees cooler than normal. They also think we could finally manage 5 to 15 inches of snow which I still think will be too little too late.

March 2024 may have trends that look like these: the 1st to 10th will be a mixture of sun, flurries, cold, and mild yo-yo trips; the 11th to 15th will be warm enough for sloppy rain and snow mixes, the 16th to 20th may get a cold snap with a decent snow chance, the 21st to 27th will go back to rain and snow mixes and the 28th to 31st gets another cold shot.

As we go into the summer, El Nino’s sis­ter La Nina is expected to take over and that should induce a cooling trend. We’ll chat more about that next month.

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