Weather outlook: El Nino will dominate 2015 weather

Drew Lerner

El Nino is expected to play a major role in Canadian weather in the early part of 2015, which could lead to a drier and warmer summer in the Prairies.


  • Weather conditions over the next few weeks and months will be dominated by a developing El Nino event. El Nino events begin in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean when sea surface temperatures rise significantly above average. The warmer ocean water results in a massive low pressure system forming over the region. That low pressure system causes a chain reaction displacing the position of large high and low pressure systems all around the world. As a result, weather conditions change. For some areas, the change will be good, but for others, not so welcome.

  • Eastern Australia will experience drought going into 2015 with production cuts for many summer crops and possibly for some 2015-2016 small grain crops as well. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines will experience less than usual rainfall, as will South Africa. These changes can impact grain and oilseed production.

  • In South America, the situation is mostly good for summer crops with favourable production likely in most corn and soybean production areas. India may be faced with a poor performance in the summer monsoon if El Nino is still in control of the world’s weather in the Northern Hemisphere summer.

  • Weather in Canada’s Prairies this summer may trend drier and warmer biased if El Nino is prevailing. Portions of the U.S. Midwest will see timely rainfall and favourable summer crop production. Until then, winter weather in North America will be warmer than usual in western Canada and the northern U.S. Plains, while wetter and cooler than usual conditions impact the southern United States. The U.S. Midwest winter may be a little drier biased in the north and wetter biased in the south.

Drew Lerner is Senior Agriculture Meteorologist and President of  World Weather Inc
His daily assessments of crop and weather helps companies make better agricultural business decisions.