Another El Niño May Be On the Way [AUDIO]
If you've had it with this winter, take heart: Next winter may be milder, according to the latest from federal forecasters.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an El Niño warming of the central Pacific Ocean that will impact global weather. State climatologist Dave Robinson of Rutgers said a winter temperature change could be the result in New Jersey.
"Not necessarily on the mild side," Robinson said, "but most often not on the cold side."
An El Niño could mean less Atlantic hurricanes, but more coastal storms next fall and winter.
"For New Jersey, it's not as strong a signal as say, the southern tier of states." Robinson said.
He said it could be wetter than usual, but we probably will not see this winter's crushing snowfall.
Beyond New Jersey, an El Niño might shake up the climate around the world. Following a prolonged dry spell and a drought in the West, an El Niño could bring welcome wet weather.
The opposite of an El Niño is a La Niña, which is a general cooling effect. Neither an El Niño or a La Niña have appeared since mid-2012. An El Niño exerts its strongest effect between December and April.
Forecasters caution there are no guarantees, but early El Niño signs are appearing a few hundred feet below the surface of the Pacific.