The WGN Weather Blog reported this weekend that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation has turned warm in the past couple of months, and is getting warmer. The Climate Prediction Center started noticing in July:
Nearly all of the dynamical models favor the onset of El Niño beginning in July - September 2012 (Fig. 6). As in previous months, several statistical models predict ENSO-neutral conditions through the remainder of the year, but the average statistical forecast of Niño-3.4 increased compared to last month. Supported by model forecasts and the continued warmth across the Pacific Ocean, there is increased confidence for a weak-to-moderate El Niño during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2012-13. El Niño conditions are likely to develop during August or September 2012 (see CPC/IRI consensus forecast).
Normally, warm winters lead to warm summers in Chicago, with the pattern resetting in late Autumn. That is, even this record-breaking summer could be followed by a bone-chilling winter. But El Niño years tend to give Chicago warm, dry winters. I'm all for mild winters—except that mild winters tend to cause warm summers, which I am not in favor of.
At least autumn should be lovely here.