El Niño officially arrives early

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.(KELOLAND) – El Niño has arrived.

The Climate Prediction Center announced Thursday that El Niño conditions were present and expected to grow stronger in the coming months. Forecasters give it a 56% chance of developing into a strong El Niño, and an 84% chance of topping “moderate” strength.

This year’s El Niño has shown up ahead of the typical schedule. In the past decade, El Niños have started in late summer or early fall. Its early appearance “gives it room to grow,” Climate Prediction Center meteorologist Michelle L’Heureux, told the Associated Press.

This year’s El Niño is expected to keep building and remain strong through the 2023-2024 winter.

El Niño usually means a warm, dry winter for the Pacific Northwest, Ohio Valley, northern Rockies, and parts of the Midwest.