Brrr

Here comes the cold weather. For the last two weeks Destins enjoyed 70+ degree days and sunny skys. (I can’t remember the last time I had the top on on my Z4.) I guess it couldn’t last forever. Apparently we have a mild El Nino in effect this year, but it’s not fairing well against the current arctic shelf dropping down over the United States. Hopefully it won’t last long.

El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a global coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon. The Pacific ocean signatures, El Niño and La Niña (also written in English as El Nino and La Nina) are major temperature fluctuations in surface waters of the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean. The names, from the Spanish for “the child”, refer to the Christ child, because the phenomenon is usually noticed around Christmas time in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of South America.[1] Their effect on climate in the southern hemisphere is profound. These effects were first described in 1923 by Sir Gilbert Thomas Walker from whom the Walker circulation, an important aspect of the Pacific ENSO phenomenon, takes its name. The atmospheric signature, the Southern Oscillation (SO) reflects the monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. As of September 2006, El Niño is currently active, and is expected to continue into 2007.

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In North America, typically, winters are warmer than normal in the upper Midwest states, the Northeast, and Canada, while central and southern California, northwest Mexico and the southwestern U.S., are wetter and cooler than normal. Summer is wetter in the intermountain regions of the U.S. The Pacific Northwest states, on the other hand, tend to experience dry but foggy winters and warm, sunny and precocious springs during an El Niño. During a La Niña, by contrast, the Midwestern U.S. tends to be drier than normal. El Niño is associated with decreased hurricane activity in the Atlantic, especially south of 25º N; this reduction is largely due to stronger wind shear over the tropics.

Ahh Wikipedia, what would we do without you? 🙂

The temperature outside has dropped from 69 degrees to 59 degrees in just the last 45 minutes. We’re supposed to have freezing temps down here starting tonight, lasting for a day or two at least. Yuck. I guess I shouldn’t complain, my friend Steve Mays has been frozen in a block of ice for over three days now. Yow!

[ In the time it took me to write this post, the temp dropped another 3 degrees to 56! ]