If it does, parts of Arizona could get a lot of moisture this winter. El Niño is known for producing heavy winter rains in the deserts and lots of snow in the mountains.
Right now, forecasters say conditions are neutral – neither El Niño…nor its opposite, La Niña. But forecasters call for a rapid transformation to El Niño starting next month and lasting through late February. It’s still to early to tell whether it will be weak or moderate in strength.
The condition is related to water surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and can affect weather patterns over a large area. According to the National Weather Service website, the last El Niño winter was in late 2009 and early 2010. La Niña influenced the last two winters, and rainfall was below average.