Eastern NC already settling into El Niño pattern

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – “What we’ve seen recently could be kind of a foreshadowing of what to expect this winter,” says Scott Curtis an atmospheric science professor at ECU.

Sunshine and blue sky returned to the East, but don’t get too attached. More cloudy, dreary, wet days are ahead thanks to El Niño.


“You tend to have more coastal lows come up from the Gulf of Mexico, crossing over Florida and into the coast of North Carolina,” says Curtis.

That, of course, means more rain. It’s a pattern we’ve already seen since late September with low after low tracking up the coast.

“It’s very similar to the rains we’ve had lately where it’s not heavy downpours, it’s not lightning and thunder, but it’s kind of a continuous rain that maybe rains for most of the day and it could lead to possible flood events,” says Curtis.

While inland areas deal with flooding potential, the coast will continue to be battered with strong winds and punishing surf. Despite the negatives, El Niño may have a silver lining after all.

“Fortunately the temperatures aren’t going to drop so we’re probably not going to get snow events,” says Curtis.

Damp days may be the price we pay to avoid the bitter cold of the past two winters.

The Climate Prediction Center expects us to have a 40% chance of above average rainfall through the rest of the fall.
That jumps to a 60% chance of above average rainfall during the winter.

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