The Midwest has once again found themselves being slammed with another winter storm this season. This storm has unfortunately also caused 7 deaths. The storm contained freezing rain, sleet, and snow and caused power outages. This storm also created a mess at airports with cancellations and delays and a great deal of trouble on the highways. The storm affected Texas to Illinois. In the state of Missouri the governor declared a state of emergency and also activated the National Guard. Texas meanwhile was dealing with heavy rain and strong winds from the storm rather than the ice. The arctic air even reached southern and central California which worried citrus growers in the state.
Citrus growers in California are most worried about the citrus crops being damaged by the freezing weather. If the temperature stays below 25 degrees for six hours or more the crops could be seriously damaged and that would mean higher prices for citrus fruits in the grocery stores. It would also put many of the citrus farm workers out of jobs and also can cause damage to the citrus trees themselves. The storm was expected to continue through Sunday.
If you have watched the news recently you have heard the term El Nino but what exactly is El Nino and could it be responsible for the wierd weather we have seen lately?
El Nino means "little boy" in Spanish and it usually is at it's peak during Christmas and the winter. El Nino is a warming of the waters in the Pacific which in turn causes a weather pattern that can cause drought in some parts of the world and flooding in others. The effects of El Nino include warmer than average temperatures over Canada and the Western and Northern United States, Florida and the Gulf coast seeing wetter than usual weather, and the Pacific northwest and Ohio Valley being drier than usual. El Ninos occur irregularly approximately every two to seven years. Some of the tools forecasters use to try and detect El Ninos are satellites and buoys out in the ocean.