Forecaster: El Niño Warmth Could Impact Iowa By End Of Growing Season

Ames, Iowa — Wide sections of Iowa were hit with a whopper winter storm this week that dumped up to ten inches of snow in some parts of northwestern Iowa, thanks in part to the La Niña weather pattern that’s impacting the climate across the continent.

Meteorologist Dennis Todey, director of the USDA’s Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, says we’ve been in La Niña for three straight years now.

The La Niña forms when there’s a cooling of Pacific Ocean surface temperatures. Todey says it appears those temps are warming and the La Niña may vanish.

An El Niño occurs when sea surface temperatures rise above normal. Todey says seeing signs of an El Niño appearing that quickly would be unusual.

He notes, there are concerns an El Niño could add more heat to an already warming climate, which would be foul news for Iowa, most of which remains in very dry or drought conditions.

The snowfall during last week’s winter weather event measured at the KIWA studios in downtown Sheldon was five and a half inches, however other parts of the broadcast area received substantially higher snowfall.



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