El Niño, that phenomenon of warmer Pacific Ocean water, is back and looks to be here the next few months with a decrease in strength as prime Hurricane Season arrives (Aug-Oct).
You can see the current measurement in this graphic where "red and orange" at the equator equals warm water. It's not terribly strong.
There is also warmer water along the Mexico coast and, in case you haven't noticed, we've had plenty of rain in January (4") and February (below normal amounts, mostly mist and fog). That warmer water creates warmer, rising moist air which moves into Texas and produces these dreary days. In fact, tomorrow through the end of the week is going to seem more like Seattle than Houston.
A little El Niño goes a long way--we can handle the rain we've had and, in fact, it also produces stronger winds across Central America, which tend to inhibit tropical growth in the Caribbean. Not a bad thing. Here is the forecast for our current El Niño:
So based solely on this forecast, I think a wetter than normal spring is likely with an average tropical season in the Atlantic. If you consider the El Niño of 2015-2016, when we experienced the Memorial Day and Tax Day flooding, I'm relieved that we are not seeing a huge El Niño forecast. Take a look at just how warm the Pacific was at the end of 2015:
Rodeo Uncorked popped it open last night! Hundreds of wineries and food samples showed off their fare and thousands of people showed up for it. A great way to begin the Rodeo festivities:
Finally, we spent Saturday with family members, first at the new Perry's on West Gray which is stunning. That's a surprise gift of Schnapp's Goldschlagger--a funny tribute to the gold nanoparticles I had infused to fight my cancer (and which so far have worked!). And then we gathered at Brasserie 19 to discuss the May wedding! I'm officiating.
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