Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Loving the cold weather? Thank the Child!

In the past few weeks, the citizens of North Texas (and the South Central Plains) has been experiencing cooler than usual weather conditions. I think that this is the earliest that I have had to crack out the sweaters from my closet in quite a while. Also, we have received more rain in the past month than we have in a looong time.

This is all thanks to a weather phenonmenon El Nino (translated into english as "The Child" and refers to when Christ was born). El Nino is a major warming of the equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean. El Nino events usually occur every 3 to 7 years, and are characterized by shifts in "normal" weather patterns. The last time that we had an "El Nino year" was 1997-1998.

Researchers are still learning about El Nino. NOAA has put bouys in the waters in the Pacific to gather more data and watch the temperatures to be able to predict this major weather event.

When it comes to linking both La Nina and El Nino (La Nina is the exact opposite of El Nino where the waters are cold in the Pacific and brings a wamer than normal winter to Texans) the jury is still out. Researchers have not totally "figured out" global warming, but it may be possible to link these in the future.

All of this probably doesn't mean a lot to many of you and are totally bored by now, but it is something interesting to know and you can impress all of your friends by explaining why it is colder sooner than usual.. FUN!

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