When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is sit down with a cup of coffee and look at the latest weather data for the day. I sit on my chair, looking out the window, and just scratch my head.  The weather patterns this year have been nothing short of bizarre, not just globally but locally too.

Our Atlanta area winter was the second warmest on record with temperatures running a whopping 6.8 degrees above normal. Then we had the record high temperatures in January with a high of 80, the warmest it’s ever been for the month since records have been kept.

Then of course in March the hammer came down bringing some very cold air to our area, just in time for everything to begin blooming. Pollen counts were setting records with the highest amounts ever seen so early in the year. The freezing temperatures really did some damage to those early blooms.

A street in China where a person is walking with an umbrella and worm-like objects are falling from the sky and on the ground.

Raining Worms?

Then I said to myself in jest, that the next phase would be the pestilence, half-joking. Then my news feed showed the worms falling with the rain in China!

One theory is that strong updrafts in a thunderstorm picked the worms up and mixed with the rain. Another theory is the objects weren’t worms at all but simply flower blossoms. Who knows!

With winter over we are now seeing another change getting ready to unfold. We’ve gone from a La Niña pattern this winter, to now neutral, but quickly evolving to El Niño, known for accelerating planetary warming and inducing extreme weather across the globe this summer.

Map of North and South America and surrounding waters, showing the summer El Niño pattern.

El Niño pattern

For the Southeast, El Niño generally brings a reduction in Atlantic hurricanes. Good news after Ian.  Additional good news for the Southeast is we can expect fewer severe thunderstorm outbreaks.  Typically, we will also see much less rain this summer. With this column there is a graphic showing the average position of the northern and southern jet streams. Above average rainfall is likely from California into Florida. Florida will be grateful, as they have been experiencing dry conditions. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how it all evolves. Hope you have a great April and a Happy Easter!