EL NINO UPDATE
The El Nino condition that began to take hold a year ago and became official late in the summer of 2009 is still hanging on, though it is forecast to fade later this spring. Sea Surface Temperatures for the three-month period ending in March were 1.5 degrees C above average for the period, which is, by historical standards, a pretty strong El Nino for this late in the season. The last time temperatures were that far above average in the first quarter of the calendar year was 1998. But the temperature anomalies are beginning to fade now, and within a month or two we should see conditions shift from El Nino into a neutral phase. No word yet on what's in store for next winter, but we'll be tracking it over the summer.