Thursday, November 19, 2009

It looks like an El Nino winter ahead

autumn sunset on Red Lake
Virtually all of Canada including Northwestern Ontario is experiencing record high temperatures this November, apparently the result of El Nino, the cyclical warming of the Pacific Ocean west of South America.

This typically happens every 4-6 years but this time around it seems more pronounced than normal.

Daytime temperatures in Northwestern Ontario should be around the freezing mark but instead are 6-10 C (40-50 F).

The weather during a normal El Nino winter in Northwestern Ontario is warmer and often snowier than other years. So far this winter it is much warmer but quite dry. This is particularly welcome after our wet summer last year.

It should be a boost to fish populations as it will mean at least one extra ice-free month. El Nino is also kind to animals since they don't need to expend as much energy keeping warm.

I've got my fingers crossed that it will also lead to an early ice-out next spring. Once in awhile the ice goes out in Red Lake in late April instead of early to mid-May. This is a god-send to us at camp as it lets us get to work mending docks and doing other maintenance before the fishermen arrive. It also almost always leads to spectacular walleye and northern pike spawns.

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