Summer is near and with it comes a season of El Nina weather. So what does this mean? According to a feature in Slate, there’s a number of patterns that we can expect. First we need to understand what it all means… in a nutshell, the trade winds will return with a vengeance, and will promote cooler, upwelling ocean water (which we call La Niña) that will shift weather patterns worldwide. According to experts we can expect the following weather patterns:
What is La Niña? The main feature of La Niña is cooler-than-average surface waters in the tropical central and eastern Pacific: the opposite of El Niño. The cooler waters lead to an intensification of the Walker Circulation. (Source: NOAA)
A busy Atlantic hurricane season – In general, La Niña helps slacken cyclone-shredding wind shear over the tropical Atlantic, which means it assists in the formation of hurricanes.
Reduced odds of blockbuster East Coast blizzards – If we make it through hurricane season relatively unscathed, this winter may provide additional extreme weather relief, at least when it comes to the sorts of mega-blizzards the Northeast has grown accustomed to in recent years.
Drought in Texas, cold winter in the Midwest – The center of the country will likely be a meteorological battleground this winter, and we could see a return of the warm West/cold East pattern that seemed to drag on indefinitely during the winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15.
Amazing ski weather in the Pacific Northwest – In the winter of 1998-99, Mt. Baker in Washington state set a new national record: The most snow ever in a single season, 95 feet
California drought – Thanks to a March miracle, key reservoirs across northern California are nearly full for the first time in years. However, this year’s snowpack was still relatively disappointing, and things are only looking worse from here. La Niñas are typically bad news for California, and this coming winter shouldn’t be any different