This morning NOAA sent out a press release indicating that the long-anticipated El Nino has finally officially arrived.  We’ve been flirting with El Nino-like conditions for several months since the first El Nino watch was issued last spring, but until now the conditions haven’t quite come together.  Here is a link to the official story.

What does this mean for Southeast agriculture?  Since this El Nino is weak and likely to remain so, the impacts from the El Nino will be less than usual.  However, in general, El Nino springs are wetter and cooler than normal and El Nino summers are slightly wetter than normal, with the highest likelihood of dry conditions in late summer due to lower than usual numbers of tropical storms.

el nino arrives feb 2015

Here are some resources for more information on El Nino and agriculture:

Fact sheets on El Nino impacts in the Southeast from AgroClimate: 

Climate Prediction Center month by month El Nino anomaly maps:

AgroClimate tools on impacts of El Nino phase on crop yield and frost probability: