Rain Check: December 2023

This winter’s weather will be influenced by a strong El Nino weather pattern


KEY FACTOR: This winter’s weather will be influenced by a strong El Nino weather pattern. The three most recent El Nino’s occurred in 1998, 2010 and 2016, so look for similar rainfall patterns to those three winters.



> El Nino is a seasonal weather pattern originating in the tropical Pacific that has far-reaching impacts to weather across the globe. The past few winters were under the influence of La Nina, the opposite tropical Pacific seasonal weather pattern.

> Based on past strong El Ninos, golf facilities along the southern tier of the U.S. and up the East Coast should see more rainfall than normal.


> This assumption also extends to to California and the Southwest, with the caveat that this particular region tends to see more variability during El Nino weather patterns.

> Golf facilities along the Gulf Coast are most likely to see a wetter than average January.

> This would be a drastic change from recent dry winters in places like Florida and Texas and much needed in very drought-afflicted places like Louisiana and Mississippi.

> In past El Nino patterns, the northern interior has historically been drier than average, so golf courses that remain open in the Ohio Valley may see a few more playable days than normal.

> This also typically translates into less snow than normal for those areas, since the lack of precipitation in the Midwest to northern Plains is also typically paired with abnormal warmth for winter.