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Heather’s Weather Whys: Is there a connection between July’s heat and November’s warmth?

There’s been a recurring weather story this year in Western New York: record warmth. A strengthening La Nina may be a common thread.
Credit: WGRZ

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Summer of 2020 was one of Buffalo’s hottest on record. July was the hottest month for the city, period.

But the unusually warm temperature story didn’t end when the seasons changed. After a cooler spell in October, another wave of record warmth spread over the area during the first week of November. 

RELATED: Summer 2020 sets several heat records

RELATED: What could a hot summer mean for the coming winter?

There are always many, many factors at play when it comes to determining day-to-day weather, things such as the position and strength of the jet stream or where areas of high and low pressure are located. But in the background, long-range patterns have an influence too. 

One of these so-called “seasonal influencers” is the El Nino Southern Oscillation, or ENSO for short. It has two major phases: El Nino and La Nina. It can also be in a “neutral” phase. Beginning in the middle of the summer, ENSO was registering a moderate La Nina phase. 

RELATED: What is El Nino?

Typically, a La Nina pattern can bring rounds of abnormally warm temperatures to parts of the Eastern U.S. over a span of several months, even up to a year. That very well could be a link between July’s heat and November’s unusual warmth.

New episodes of Heather’s Weather Whys are posted to the WGRZ YouTube channel every Wednesday evening. If you have a weather question for Heather to answer, send it to her at heather.waldman@wgrz.com or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.