El Niño rains take a break, San Jose embraces warmer weather

- The warm weather in the Bay Area has made this winter season feel more like spring and it has people wondering where El Niño went and when it will return.

Many people in San Jose described the weather as picture perfect. At Santana Row on Tuesday night, a lot of people were in tank tops, shorts and sandals in February. While it may seem like unusual weather, a weather expert at San Jose State said this dry spell is perfectly normal.

As the sun sets on this February night, at Santana Row, families played outside late into the evening while others opted to dine outdoors.

"We usually drink red wine because the weather is so nice we decided to have white wine," said Kimberly Cope of San Jose.

Cope and her friend are used to a winter chill, but on Tuesday night, they walked over in summer attire.

"Usually you have your coats on and rain umbrellas," said Julie Waite of San Jose. "We are out eat here siting eating outside. It's very unusual in February."

"In the atmosphere we can have a heat wave one day and it will be cold and rainy two days later," said Alison Bridger who is the Chair of the Meterology Department at San Jose State.

Bridger said El Niño and its warmer waters are still out there. She showed us the weather maps to prove it and said El Nino is just as active as a week ago when it rained. Right now, a strong ridge of high pressure is steering storms away.

"What we are experiencing this winter is normal conditions, normal temperatures normal rainfall," said Bridger. "The reason it seems weird is we haven't had a normal year in several years around here."

She expects the stretch of dry weather to continue for another week. Once that ridge collapses, storms will come back.

"We live in California so we expect this," said Tony Kattengall of San Jose. "It rains and and then it's sunny."
While no rain means good business for Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt Shop, all of them said they want the rain to come back, given the drought.

"I work for three days so let me have my sunshine and then it can rain," said Cope.

Bridger also said it may not be the big El Niño year we're expecting given studies on climate change, only time will tell.

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