Study Finds Wide El Nino Influence

From Times Wire Reports

The El Nino phenomenon that warms the tropical Pacific Ocean boosts snowfall as far away as Stowe, Vt., and Amarillo, Texas, but seems to reduce the snow in Seattle and Chicago, according to meteorologists working to improve weather forecasting.

Scientists studied snow records at 143 weather stations nationwide for 1950 to 1994. They then compared these with records of El Ninos and their cold-water opposites, La Ninas, and found the most affected areas to be the Northwest, the Northeast, the Ohio Valley, the Midwest and North Texas.

During an El Nino, winds that normally blow east to west over the equator ease and surface waters in the eastern Pacific warm, which can alter weather movement.

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