El Niño attacks America

by Logan Gilman

Iowa has been plagued by an unusually warm and dry winter. This phenomenon causes more consequences than students missing out on snow days and two-hour delays. People all across the globe experience these weather changes. But one question still looms: What is this phenomenon?
It’s called El Niño.
El Niño is a naturally occurring event that is characterized by a complex series of climatic changes that affect weather on the global scale. The basis of the event is started with unusually warm temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.
El Niño means “The Kid” in Spanish. This weather pattern is called El Niño because fishermen off the west coast of South America were the first to notice the unusually warm water, and because of its tendency to occur around Christmas time, it is named after the baby Jesus.
In the US, California and the majority of the southern states have been hit hard this year with record-setting rain and flooding. The northern states are experiencing drier and warmer weather than they are used to for the winter season. While El Niño has been hard on the southern states, with damaging storms and deadly flooding, Iowa has been spoiled with less snow and warmer temperatures.
Junior Ryan Hill said, “I think it’s a pretty good deal for us. It’s helping the temperatures around here, and the snow’s melting away pretty quickly. I like having warming weather in January. It will give me a chance to hit the golf course quicker.”
The Pacific Ocean temperatures are up two to three degrees this season. The higher the ocean temperatures, the stronger and fiercer the weather patterns become.
While Iowa hasn’t taken the brunt of this weather pattern, the state has still felt many differences in the environment this season. With the winter season drawing to a close, the weather will soon be turning back to what we are used to experiencing. So be prepared for some cold and wet weather in the months to come.