Is This the End of La Nina?

Large Scale Pattern Changes are Expected, so What Does That Mean?

                                                           Is This the End of La Nina?

 All indications were that La Nina was going to dissipate by the end of April, and according to the Climate Prediction center, she's gone.

La Nina was in it's second year of effect for the winter of 2011-2012. La Nina means cooler than normal sea surface temperatures off the west coast of South America.

Here is a look at ocean conditions typical in a La Nina. Notice the dark blue currents off the west coast of South America.

The enhanced cooler waters can disrupt normal ocean currents and in turn, affects the US from the Pacific.

Usually signs of La Nina are dry conditions in the southwest and wet and stormy conditions in the Pacific northwest. It is one of the contributing factors to such a mild winter we've seen.

The Climate Prediction Center says all indications are leaning towards a neutral pattern for the next few months. They also say that it is unlikely that La Nina will re-develop later this year.

So where do we go from here?

Well many of the long range forecast models are pointing towards the neutral conditions through June.

After that, well do you remember El Nino?

I always think of the Chris Farley Saturday Night Live skit, “El Nino is Spanish for, the Nino.”

I still get a good laugh out of that clip.

El Nino actually is Spanish for “The Little Boy” and refers to Christ's Child, because the warmer waters in the Pacific usually happen around Christmas time.

Yes, we are looking at a possible return of El Nino after July. But it's also necessary to point out at this time, it's hard to tell how strong an El Nino event will be.

El Nino means the opposite of La Nina, so we're talking warmer than average Sea Surface Temperatures of the west coast of South America. Many times an El Nino event can suppress hurricane development.

Right now the Climate Prediction Center is calling for neutral conditions through September. After that it's a 50/50% chance for either continuing neutral conditions or El Nino.

It's way to early to tell what the effects would be until better timing could be estimated.

For now, we will just have to wait and see.

Aurbanowicz@whsv.com

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