Sunday, August 23, 2015

Illinois Hunters possibly affected by El Niño

Illinois Hunters possibly affected by El Niño

As waterfowl hunters, we are always watching the weather.  Will there be a cold front? When will the birds push?  What will the wind direction be? All of this effects the hunting season.

In the tropical Pacific Ocean, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates a network of buoys that measure temperature, currents and winds in the equatorial band. The collected data are evaluated by complex computer models designed to predict an El Niño.

el nino

According to NOAA, there is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 85% chance it will last into early spring 2016.

Will an El Niño effect our hunting season?

By looking at the Waterfowl Harvest numbers and the below chart from past storms, one could make predictions on how this hunting season could go.

el nino

harvest numbers
In the midwest, an El Niño could mean a milder winter for us, with warmer temperatures and less snow.

The cold front that typical would push from the North will be warmer and push later in the winter months.  By looking at the huge amounts of data and articles out there, we feel that this hunting season will be warmer than usual and the waterfowl will push later in the season.

Granted, this is all up in the air and weather changes on a dime.

Typically, after an El Niño occurs, there is a La Niña.  A La Niña is the exact opposite of El Niño and it brings cooler temperatures and a cold front that pushes deeper south.

By looking at the Waterfowl Numbers, in years after El Niños that were followed by La Niñas there was an increase.  This is all speculation, but there could be a great season coming up in a year or two.

What do you think?  Do you feel that this season will be effected by the storm that is brewing?

Either way, we will always be watching the weather to see how our hunting season will be and you should too!

 Remember Enjoy the Outdoors Good Luck and Stay Safe -
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