World and Nation

El Niño Projected to Strengthen

El Niño Projected to Strengthen

As the student population returns to MIT, it hardly seems the time to be looking ahead to the end of the semester and beyond. However, meteorologists must be aware of the atmosphere’s current patterns, and what can be expected to come; being aware of the climate in the next few months is both economically and socially advisable. For example, if drought is expected, farmers and economists alike can prepare for and hopefully mitigate any losses.

This summer, sea surface temperatures over the equatorial Pacific were 0.5–1.0°C warmer than normal, indicating weak El Niño conditions. Occurring every few years, El Niño has effects on the weather worldwide, and has been known to cause floods and droughts. It is also associated with a suppression of some Atlantic hurricanes, as it increases vertical wind shear in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean. What does that spell for us here in Boston if this El Niño strengthens as many climate models are predicting? Potentially, we could have a warmer than usual winter. However, for those of you new freshmen from warmer regions, don’t think that this means you can escape from buying winter clothes.

But while we wait to see how conditions in the Pacific are evolving, the weather in New England should be quite lovely for Orientation. High pressure currently over the Great Lakes will move over us for the next few days, bringing warm and dry conditions with it. Enjoy!

Extended Forecast

Tonight: Clear skies with a low around 55°F (13°C).

Tomorrow: Sunny; high near 76°F (24°C).

Thursday: Sunny and slightly warmer with a high in the upper 70s°F (25°C) and low in the lower 60s°F (17°C).

Friday: Partly sunny, high in the upper 70s°F (25°C).