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El Nino Ends


With the current termination of the 2023-2024 El Nino event, the Southern Oscillation has entered a neutral phase before transitioning to a La Nina event.  It is expected that this change will occur rapidly during the summer with an obvious La Nina during the fourth quarter.


The recent strong El Nino has resulted in high ocean temperatures and unseasonably warm weather in the southwest of the nation.  The intensity of the El Nino may have been influenced by global warming.


Meteorologists anticipate high temperatures and lower rainfall in the western and plains states leading to drought.  The transition to a La Nina will also intensify hurricanes in the Gulf and along the eastern seaboard.  The change in the latitude of the jet stream as a result of the declining El Nino will create greater vulnerability to hurricanes many of which will make landfall instead of being moved out into the Atlantic.  Oceans represent an important heat sink and have been warming steadily over decades as carbon dioxide concentration and pH have changed to the detriment of reefs and coastal areas.


The implications for agriculture are self-evident.  Conservation of water will become more critical and farming practices and crops will have to be altered to accommodate warmer weather and depletion of aquifers.


Additional information on Southern Oscillation events can be obtained by entering El Nino in the SEARCH block.