WeatherWeather Science


The pendulum will swing to El Niño this year

enso forecast april 2023
Posted at 3:24 PM, Apr 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-21 20:52:59-04

The Climate Prediction Center is officially in El Niño Watch status as of April 13, 2023. They project a 62% chance that El Niño develops in the Pacific in the May to June timeframe in 2023. There is over an 80% chance that El Niño develops and/or persists into Fall and Winter 2023.

enso forecast april 2023
ENSO forecast from the Climate Prediction Center

This swing to El Niño comes after a long 3-year stretch of La Nina winters.

Typically, La Nina and El Niño conditions peak in the winter months, and usually, U.S. weather patterns see the largest impact from ENSO in winter.

El Niño temperatures in the winter trend warmer than normal in the northern U.S. and trend cooler than normal in the southern U.S.

Precipitation tends to be wetter than normal for the western and southern U.S. and drier than normal for the north and eastern U.S.

And as per usual, Colorado is kind of stuck in between these patterns. Usually, our weather does not have a strong correlation to ENSO, but we can see some impacts. Breaking it down by region, southeastern Colorado has some notable weather trends during El Niño.

Based on analysis by the Climate Prediction Center, southeastern Colorado, and the Arkansas River basin see little impact from El Niño in the winter. But, we do trend cooler and wetter during the rest of the year. El Niño Spring, Summer, and Fall can be cooler and wetter than during neutral and La Nina conditions.

El Nino weather trends by season in southeastern Colorado

The First Alert 5 weather team will continue to monitor conditions and update you when El Niño does in fact develop.


Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.