Dithering weather patterns have pushed a University of Missouri researcher to call for a slightly warmer and dryer than normal summer.
With Audrain County under a continuous disaster designation from the drought as of early February, Tony Lupo, professor of atmospheric science at MU, said Missouri will enter a somewhat static state with El Niño being neutral and La Niña fading.
“Even though I think it’s going to be a little warmer than normal and a little dryer than last year, I don’t think it will be as devastating as last year,” Lupo said. “If we get the rains at the right time for the crops, we can still be below normal and be okay.”
He said La Niña, which brings hotter and dryer than average temperatures has faded. The climatic event pushes the jet stream north into Canada, along with cooler temperatures and Missouri’s much needed moisture.
“That’s what we saw last summer, it played a role in the dryness,” Lupo said.
As for El Niño, Lupo said the weather pattern never quite developed but would have helped the Midwest out of drought conditions had the pattern shown in full force.
“We never quite made it to El Niño,” he said. “It went into neutral state and just kind of stayed there. We expected it to develop but it never did. That is something that is very difficult to predict.”
Opposite to La Niña, El Niño pushes the jet stream south into the Midwest where it provides cooler temperatures and greater amounts of moisture.
Read the full report in the Leader’s March 6 print edition.