In the monthly webinar for the Appalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin today, we heard from El Nino expert Klaus Wolter on his prediction for the coming winter. Based on his study of analog years similar to this one and other indicators, Dr. Wolter believes that an El Nino may already be underway based on conditions in India, the Southwest US, and the dry summer in the Southeast. He think the odds of an El Nino occurring are 80-90 percent, higher than the current predictions from NOAA. If El Nino develops as he expects, much of the Southeast could experience a wet fall, which would be bad for harvest conditions. In previous years with similar El Nino conditions, what started as a bumper crop became a major disappointment as crops rotted in the ground or on the bush due to the inability to harvest due to heavy rains. Later in the winter he expects the wettest area to migrate to south AL, GA and Florida as we expect in a typical El Nino winter.
The graphic below from his talk shows that for recent El Nino years, three of the four were above normal in October-June precipitation. The only exception was the El Nino winter of 2008-2009, which was much drier than usual for reasons which are still unclear.