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La Nina should end, El Nino and relief could be headed to the Corn Belt

A climatologist says there’s a high probability that the La Nina weather pattern will end this spring bringing much needed relief to the drought-stricken Central Plains.

Brian Fuchs is with the National Drought Mitigation Center. “Then we’re going to start developing into El Nino, which is saying the waters in the far western Pacific have went from cooler-than-normal stage and have transitioned to a warmer-than-normal stage.”

He tells Brownfield storm patterns have moved across the US differently in the third year of La Nina. “That’s why we’re seeing the Central Plains through the Southern Plains – they haven’t been in the favorable position for these storm tracks, and that’s why we see these drought signals persisting.”

 But, Fuchs says, some areas have received significant snowfall. “We can never say never.  These events are never guaranteed, but we do start looking at where the storm tracks start setting up at the beginning of winter.  We start seeing areas that are in a more favorable spot.  That doesn’t always hold up, but so far it has.”

He says he’s encouraged by the moisture recently received in the Dakotas and Nebraska, but it will take several more events to bust the drought.

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