An ‘El Niño’ Is Getting More and More Likely

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Chris Farley as El Nino

The ’90s are back! Last month we were awash in alt-rock nostalgia as we marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, and now climatologists are betting on the notorious — if poorly understood — weather phenomenon known as “El Niño” developing sometime this summer or fall. In the ’90s, you may recall, the name “El Niño” was so ubiquitous in news media you might have assumed it was a houseguest of Nicole Brown Simpson’s.

What is El Niño? Well, besides “Spanish for… ‘the Niño,'” it’s a band of warmer-than-usual ocean water temperatures that develops off the Pacific coast of South America, and it can be blamed for almost any nasty weather event you can think of.

This year, we have an 80 percent chance of El Nino developing by late fall, and according to the Baltimore Sun, some experts believe “it could be the strongest in years.”

What does it mean for Maryland? Well, another snow-ridden winter, for one. Average snowfall for an El Niño year is 27 inches, as opposed to 18 inches in a neutral year. On the other hand, it could take the edge off of hurricane season.

And if we’re lucky, it will mean Saturday Night Live dusting off Chris Farley’s ruffled, sequined vest.


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