El Nino not developing as hoped
The much anticipated El Nino will not be developing as hoped and advertised during much of the Hurricane Season. El Nino would have been welcomed this summer, as the stronger upper level winds during El Nino help to keep Tropical activity in check. The absence of an El Nino may have a small impact on Southwest Florida's winter and dry season, although cooler than normal temperatures are predicted by the Climate Prediction Center.
Originally a weak El Niño, which is classified by above-normal water temperatures in the central and equatorial Pacific Ocean, was forecast. Now meteorologists expect a neutral phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) for the winter, which is characterized by near-normal water temperatures in the central and equatorial Pacific Ocean.
During a neutral phase of ENSO, there can be times when the northern branch of the jet stream is dominant across the U.S., and other times when the southern branch of the jet stream is dominant. The chance for the different branches to phase together for big storms in the East also exists.
In reviewing the original winter forecast, meteorologists now expect more weak, fast-moving snowstorms and cold for the Midwest than previously forecast. Meteorologists originally forecast a near-normal season for lake-effect snow in the Great Lakes, but they now forecast above-normal snow for some areas, including portions of the Northeast.