Weekend cold snap coming thanks to El Niño?

Weather Blog
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The First Warning Weather team is tracking the potential of a strong cold front combining with an approaching storm system that could make this weekend unseasonably cold and at times rainy.

Stay with KXAN and your First Warning Weather App for frequent updates. This forecast may need to be fine-tuned in the coming days, as small changes in the track of these systems can have a big impact on the outcome.

Following months of warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator, NOAA finally declared a weak El Niño pattern in place on Valentine’s Day. While warmer ocean temperatures in that region are a key marker of this global pattern, NOAA forecasters wait for the atmosphere teleconnection to be observed before declaring the pattern developed.

According to NOAA forecasters, a weak El Niño pattern is expected to continue through the spring.

Based on analog years, our local National Weather Service office has observed the following impacts to our weather when a pattern like this is in place during the spring months:

  • Slightly cooler than normal conditions
  • Slightly wetter than normal conditions

NWS also observes more anomalous events that fit into the following categories:

  • Much higher chance of Arctic outbreaks
  • Much higher chance of extreme rain events
    • May 2015 was a weak El Niño spring when Austin recorded an incredible 24.73″ of rain and deadly floods struck Wimberley
  • Fewer instances of severe weather (tornadoes, large hail, damaging wind events)

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