La Nina Weather Pattern Fading Means Wetter Fall and Winter


The reports of imminent drought were greatly exaggerated.

NOTE: This post initially appeared on on Sept 14, 2016

SAN ANTONIO – We’ve been hearing for months now that our rain chances will be drying up thanks to a La Nina pattern that’s on the way. But that’s not the case after all and that has huge implications for everyone.

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that it has cancelled the La Nina Watch and is now expecting what’s called a Neutral Pattern this fall and winter for us. So what’s the big deal? Well, instead of South Texas drying up again which is what normally happens in a La Nina Pattern, this basically changes the jet stream, bringing it closer to Texas which means more rain chances from fronts and disturbances. It’s important for us in the city and really makes a big difference to farmers like Troy Bippert and Alan Zinsmeyer.

“Generally more rain is better for us, it usually means better yields and better crops,” says Bippert.

Alan Zinsmeyer explains, “Warmer and wetter will probably help on winter and spring wheat planting, because we’ll have enough moisture to get our winter and spring wheat to emerge and then hopefully it carries on into the spring when we can plant our corn in march or so.”

And although these Castroville farmers know enough not to take these long range predictions as gospel, this is good news.

“It makes next year look better, as far as optimism, I’m not saying we’re going to go out and make an equipment purchase based on our weather prediction for next year but at least it gives us some hope,” says Zinsmeyer.

And if the farmers can stay ahead of the weather we all benefit. At the grocery store, with lower water and electricity bills and less wildland fire potential. A total win, win scenario

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