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Warm Temperatures in February?

We are nearing the end of February and we’ve experienced a wide range of temperatures and weather occurrences throughout the month. The most peculiar conditions we’ve experienced were the unusually warm temperatures. From the Indianapolis station, there has been 11 days with temps that were 50° or more. Three of those days had temperatures over 60°.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “The warm weather is nice, but why is it so warm?” The answer boils down to El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

El Niño is the warming of the oceans’ surfaces across the Pacific. It is not a regular cycle, but it occurs in intervals of 2-7 years. El Niño causes the the jet stream, a rapid river of air high in the atmosphere, to move southward. Warmer, tropical-like air moves in. In the Northern portion of the U.S and Canada, warmer temperatures and drier conditions are present. For the southern portion of the U.S, wetter conditions will occur and could even lead to extensive flooding.

It is projected that the effects of El Niño will remain throughout the spring season.


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