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El Niño set to bring warmer winter to Michigan

El Niño set to bring warmer winter to Michigan
El Niño set to bring warmer winter to Michigan 02:57

(CBS DETROIT) - Winter in Michigan always includes snow.

When it comes to forecasting the winter, there is a trick up the sleeves of meteorologists to help figure out how the season may evolve overall.

Enter El Niño.

NEXT Weather/CBS Detroit

El Niño, or "Little Boy," is one of three patterns that make up the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). El Niño shows a warming of the surface of the eastern Pacific Ocean and coincides with weaker trade winds.

La Niña, or "Little Girl," is a cooling of the ocean surface and an increase in the trade winds.

A neutral ENSO shows near-average surface temperatures and trade winds.

What does this mean for winter 2023-24?

This winter, it appears southeast Michigan will have a stronger El Nino.

The majority of El Niño winters leave us with a below-average amount of snowfall or precipitation as a whole and also above-average temperatures.

This doesn't mean we won't have snow or snowstorms. 

What it means is a slightly less snowy winter and a bit warmer, which would translate to more of that wet/heavy type of snowfall in particular.

This winter is likely to have this type of setup.

The CBS News Detroit NEXT Weather Team will always track the trends and every system and keep you informed of the forecast on good days and bad because even when it's warmer with less snow overall, it's Michigan, so you'll still need that shovel eventually.

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