La Nina and Upcoming Spring
Posted on February 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM
La Nina and El Nino, two common phenomenons we talk about all the time when making long range forecasts. We have been in a La Nina pattern since last winter. If you remember last spring, we had a lot of severe weather and flooding, which La Nina was mainly responsible for. During a La Nina year, “Tornado Alley” shifts to the east, spanning the Ohio and Tennessee valleys. The good news, La Nina appears to be weakening! So, we are looking at a much calmer spring than last year!
La Niña is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific, as compared to El Niño, which is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. There is now evidence that warming is occurring in the equatorial Pacific, so the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is expected to turn neutral by April. In other words, the temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific will be near normal by spring.