Weather Rollercoaster Ride for Ohio, More On The Way

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Athens, OH – After experiencing a warmer December than usual in Ohio which broke several records, cold temperatures have finally arrived, but they may not be here to stay.

According to Nate McGinnis, the Director of the Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis at Ohio University, more rollercoaster weather is predicted for Ohio, with warmer and colder temperatures fluctuating throughout the winter season.

McGinnis predicts there will be colder temperatures and more snow on the way.

“Our average this time of year is only nine inches [of snow],” McGinnis said. “We’ve only received three, which is probably because we had a really warm December, but we really aren’t that far behind. All it takes is one decent storm,” McGinnis said.

Ohio is not the only one dealing with abnormal weather. This year, Earth is experiencing what meteorologists are calling an “El Nino.”

According to McGinnis, an El Nino is caused by a difference in average temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. Due to the warmer water temperatures, weather is altered across the planet, causing different weather patterns than usual.

“Not every single thing that we experience is a result of El Nino,” said McGinnis. “El Nino is very strong and it was one of the strongest that has ever happened in recorded history, so it is important for us to know what effects it can have, but it’s kind of hard to directly relate a certain event to El Nino because El Nino is a climate parameter, not necessarily something that changes the weather on a daily basis.”

Some people have questioned whether or not global warming has had an effect on December’s record breaking high temperatures. McGinnis said during an El Nino, our area normally sees slightly warmer temperatures and lower precipitation for the winter months but this year has been wetter than usual, suggesting a warmer climate with more moisture in the air.

“I think if we just note that this was the warmest December on record and it wasn’t just the Eastern United States, it was the same for Europe as well… I think that’s something we can link together and develop the conclusion that there may be serval pieces to this puzzle, but I think a general conclusion is that a warming climate may just be becoming a stronger thing. You can see it visually,” said McGinnis.

For the rest of the winter months, McGinnis predicts rollercoaster weather with temperatures fluctuating more than normal along with a mix of snow and rain. As for snow storms, “we just take it by a week by week basis and see how the storms are looking for the next five to seven days.”