El Niño is a natural phenomenon.  It is weather patterns created by temperature and air pressure differences in Pacific Ocean. It is called El Niño because it usually occurs during Christmas time. El Niño is spanish for boy. This is a reference to the nativity scene. This natural disturbance only happens every 2 to 7 years. This affects not only countries along the pacific coastline like Peru or Chile but weather conditions globally.  These effects range from flooding to mild winters in the Western Hemisphere. Wildlife is adversely affected by warm water temperatures. It disrupts the food chain as it kills plankton, which kills fishes and any organism that eat fishes. Any surviving aquatic life travels north to cooler waters. Given the current increase in water temperatures, It is speculated that El Niño will take place this December.

Past El Niño

Historically El Niño has been documented for at least 200 years.  A warm ocean current during christmas time. The change in weather subsequently led to lower crop yields.  An obvious side effect of warm ocean temperatures is hurricanes. That is billions of dollars in damages a year. Since El Niño effects crops food prices increase as a direct consequence. The increase in flooding contributes to the increased risks for water borne diseases. Malaria and dengue fever cases rise after El Niño. The last El Niño was in 2015-2016.  It caused a droughts in Oceania. Flooding was experienced in South America. Even Coral reefs were dying out due to the rising temperatures.

What it means for the US

The Northwest region of the US may experience higher than normal temperatures. The Southeast region could experience more flooding even after the recent hurricanes in that region. It will during the winter months so this rain could become light snow or more likely freezing rain. Below-average precipitation most likely in the northern Rockies, around the Great Lakes. Agriculture in the American Heartland will take a hit. Nighttime temperatures and rainfall have a large influence on overall corn yield especially in the period before and during pollination. Food Security is becoming increasingly more important. Creative use of irrigation and climate control must be implemented to prevent food shortages.

What it means for homeowners

The coming months will tell if the conditions in the Pacific Ocean adversely affect the weather in the US. Whether it is more rain or a drought . These weather conditions can affect your home.

 

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