El Niño and the Midwest, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release November 19, 2015
El Niño and the Midwest

Bryan Peake, Service Climatologist - (217) 265-0235, bpeake@illinois.edu
Molly Woloszyn, Extension Climatologist - (217) 244-7612, mollyw@illinois.edu
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270, sheppard@illinois.edu

What effect could El Niño have on winter in the Midwest and the rest of the United States? Find out on the new El Niño webpage from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC), located at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS). (http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/mw_climate/elNino/index.jsp)

Seven different topic pages about the 2015-16 El Niño and past El Niño events have been created to provide a better understanding of this climate phenomenon.  See what causes El Niño, information on strong Historical Events, and the potential Impacts in the Midwest.  Also, learn why each El Niño event is unique on the Diversity page and stay up-to-date with the latest official information on the 2015-16 El Niño with the Current Status page.

MRCC GIS El Niño Comparison Tool

An all-new GIS tool has been created to visually compare the 2015-16 El Niño event to strong El Niño events in the past. The MRCC GIS El Niño Comparison Tool (compares months and seasons during the 2015-16 El Niño to the 30-year climate normals and other strong El Niño events (Figure, right). Comparisons for temperature and precipitation are available nationwide by climate division, with snowfall available for the nine-state MRCC region. In addition, the MRCC and other climate service partners recently produced a two-page El Niño report for the Midwest that summarizes the outlook and potential impacts for the region. Regional reports were created for the Great Lakes and Missouri River Basin regions as well. To see these reports, visit the El Niño Reports page.

Stay tuned to the weekly and monthly Midwest Climate Watch Highlights throughout the winter to see what effect the 2015-16 El Niño may have on weather in the Midwest.


The Midwestern Regional Climate Center is a cooperative program of the Illinois State Water Survey (Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois) and the National Climatic Data Center (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce).

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