Fall will see lack of El Nino, La Nina

Published 11:40 pm Monday, September 22, 2008

Today is the first full day of fall, and there is much uncertainty about how the area’s climate will be for the upcoming season.

Autumn began at 10:44 a.m. Monday as the September equinox occurred across the northern hemisphere. However, that is where the certainty ends as far as the National Weather Service’s forecasts for the months of October, November and December are concerned.

According to the forecast, Central Alabama has equal chances of having normal, above normal or below normal temperatures and rainfall. Jim Westland, meteorologist for the weather service office in Calera, said the lack of El Niño or La Niña conditions hasn’t allowed the weather service to determine just what kind of weather can be expected over the next three months.

“It’s anyone best guess right now,” Westland said. “There is a better chance that most areas west of the Mississippi River will have higher temperatures than normal for the next three months, but there is not enough information to determine just how our weather will be here.”

In addition to the El Niño/La Niña effects, the amount of precipitation could be dictated by whether another tropical storm comes through the area.

Typically, highs range from 80-85 at the end of September and drop to 60 degrees by the end of November. Low temperatures are around 60 degrees now and will be falling to the mid-30s by the end of November.

On average, the fall, especially October, is the driest time of the year, but beginning in November, Westland hopes it will turn wetter.

“November, December and January are when we usually are able to fill up our reservoirs,” he said. “The weather around then will also dictate just how our spring will go.

“We’ve had a much better year as far as the drought situation. We just need to keep getting some rain occasionally to keep our water situation under control.”

– Brent Maze can be reached at brent.maze@clantonadvertiser.com.