Adios, El Nino; hola, La Nina

Thank the waning days of El Nino for the summer-like weather and splendid sunrises in April and into May

By Dale Bass

Kamloops This Week

Thank the waning days of El Nino for the summer-like weather and splendid sunrises in April and into May. Environment Canada says El Nino will soon be replaced by La Nina, bringing normal temperatures by June. Good news for snow fans — La Nina usually brings colder and wetter weather in the winter.

Allen Douglas/KTW

These hot days of April and May could mean good news for skiers and snowboarders by the time winter rolls around again — and it’s all courtesy of El Nino and his weather opposite, La Nina.

The two are part of what is known as El Nino-Southern Oscillation, a scientific term that describes temperature fluctuations in the oceans along the equator.

El Nino (Spanish for “Christ child”) creates warming in sea surface temperatures and La Nina takes them into the colder temperatures.

Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa Coldwells said the current El Nino is coming to the end of its phase. It has brought the record-breaking highs to Kamloops, for example, but it will begin to dissipate in coming months.

On Monday, the impact was one that broke a record set in 1937, when the Kamloops high was 30 C. This year, it edged up to 30.8 C.

Coldwells said, however, that data is recorded at Kamloops Airport. Other data collectors in the area showed higher temperatures on Monday that were breaking records set in the 1890s.

El Nino saw the southern part of the province setting some records last month and resulted in the third-warmest April ever recorded in Kamloops.

By June, Coldwells said, temperatures should be sliding back to normal, a condition that will continue through the summer.

Historically, she said, after a strong El Nino like has been experienced in the past few years, La Nina (Spanish for “the girl”) brings colder and wetter weather throughout the lower half of B.C.. That means more snow as 2016 ends and we move into the early months of 2017.

La Nina is likely to be around for at least a couple of years before El Nino makes a reappearance. It tends to make its presence known longer, lasting from three to seven years.

“But, right now, this is its last gasp,” Coldwells said.