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May-June 2016

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International Weather Highlights 2015: Historic El Niño, Record Warmth, Record Hurricanes, Lower Damages

Water temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific steadily rose through November, reaching levels not seen since the 1997–1998 El Niño, ensuring the 2015–2016 El Niño a ranking as one of the three strongest since 1950. That warmth contributed to a record tropical storm season in the Central Pacific, an historic hurricane in the Eastern Pacific, drought and rampant wildfires in Indonesia, and the world's highest land and ocean temperatures.

Frigid Canada, Cyclone Pam

Persistent upper level troughing in the east and ridging in the west brought cold and snow to eastern North America and mild, dry weather to western North America.       

Weatherwise Contributing Editor DOUGLAS LECOMTE is a retired meteorologist formerly with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Maryland. He has been writing the Weatherwise Almanac issue's United States and international summaries since 1979.       

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