UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > April 2002 Search

April 2002

Happy Spring!

(Photo by Carlye Calvin.)

April snow showered this tulip in 1998, the last time an El Niño formed in the Pacific Ocean, and evidence suggests that another El Niño event may taking place this year. El Niño (also known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO) is a change in the ocean-atmosphere system in the eastern Pacific that is characterized by a reduction or even a reversal of prevailing trade winds, as well as warmer ocean surface water. The phenomenon causes worldwide weather changes. Some believe it can cause increased snowfall along the Front Range, although researchers have yet to find a definitive link between El Niño and local snow. Boulder got three snowfalls of more than a foot each during 1997 and early 1998, including as much as 29 inches on 24-25 October 1997. Since that last El Niño faded, we haven’t seen a single 12-inch snow.

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UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > April 2002 Search

Edited by David Hosansky, hosansky@ucar.edu
Prepared for the Web by Carlye Calvin
Last revised: Fri Apr 13 17:08:40 MST 2002