Big Rains in the South
Before the remains of Hurricane Patricia brought heavy rain to many in the south, an already wet weather pattern has developed over the past couple of weeks from the Desert Southwest east to Texas and into the Gulf Coast states. We have been talking in recent posts that a strong El Nino weather pattern would favor heavier than normal precipitation in the south this fall and winter season.
Recent events, even without the remains of Hurricane Patricia have resulted in wet weather for many in the south. The graphic below shows sea surface temperatures across the globe. El Nino is easily seen west of South America westward along the equator (red area). The warm water temperatures off the Baja of California also is favorable for increased precipitation in the south.
Below you will see how much rain has fallen in the past week. Some areas of east Texas received over a foot of rainfall with some areas as much as over 15 inches!
When you compare to normal values, some areas have received over 600% of normal values in the past week to ten days. The 300 to 600% of normal areas (purple) include many areas of Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and southern portions of Kansas and Colorado.
With El Nino conditions expected to persist into early 2016 get ready for more wet weather in the south. The graphic below highlights storm track trends in strong and weaker El Ninos. As you can see, regardless of strength, the storm tracks in an El Nino are more favored to move along the southern tier of the USA.
Most likely, the southern and central areas of California will begin seeing more rainfall and high Sierra snows in the coming weeks and months as well as the southern tier of the USA as El Nino continues.