by Sara Chaney, The Herd Staff
If you have been outside recently, it is quite obvious that the weather does not match the month. Science has reasons for this unusual climate incident.
The two main reasons are the Arctic Oscillation and a very strong occurrence of El Niño. If you are unaware as to what these things are, so was I. The Arctic Oscillation is winds that run along the top of the northern Hemisphere (near Alaska and Canada). On a normal year, the winds would blow the cold air down and into the United States. This caused the “Polar Vortex” that we have experienced in years past.
However, this year is not like that. This year, the Oscillation is very strong, causing the cold winds to be trapped inside near the arctic. The other reason is a very strong occurrence of El Niño. El Niño is a weather event that happens when areas of the Pacific Ocean around the Equator heat up. The air above the ocean also heats up and is circulated around the world. This event is known to raise temperatures globally. The appearance of both of these events at the same time may take away your white Christmas, but on the bright side, your winter coats may be able to stay in the closet this year.
— NASA (@NASA) December 16, 2015