This year’s unusually warm winter weather could be a result of an El Niño effect.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Peter Kimbell says the above-average temperatures may linger throughout the rest of the season.

Kimbell explains the El Niño effect is caused by water being warmed near the equator.

The warm water causes an increase in thunderstorms, which in turn affects air circulation in the atmosphere, which can then result in temperatures that are warmer than usual in the Northern Hemisphere.