- This is the first “triple-dip” La Niña of the century.
- This La Niña started in September 2020.
- La Niña and El Niño are Spanish terms.
La Niña just doesn’t want to go away.
Meteorologists say that for the third year in a row, La Niña will persist all winter in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the first “triple dip” La Niña of the century, according to a recent update from the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.
This La Niña started in September 2020.
The La Niña climate pattern is a natural cycle marked by cooler than average ocean waters in the central Pacific Ocean. It is one of the major weather factors in the United States and around the world, especially in late fall, winter, and early spring.
It’s the opposite of the better known El Niño, which occurs when the water in the Pacific Ocean is warmer than average. Although this is the first “triple dip” La Niña this century, it’s not unprecedented for the pattern to last more than nine months to a year, which is typical for a La Niña, according to ABC. News.
What does La Niña mean for winter in the United States?
A typical La Niña winter in the United States brings cold and snow to the northwest and unusually dry conditions to much of the southern United States, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic also tend to experience above-average temperatures during a La Niña winter.
Meanwhile, New England and the Upper Midwest down to New York tend to see colder than average temperatures, the Weather Channel said.
Climate change also plays a role
However, the WMO said all natural climate events now occur against the backdrop of human-induced climate change, which is increasing global temperatures, exacerbating extreme weather and climate, and impacting seasonal rainfall and temperature models.
“It is exceptional to have three consecutive years with a La Niña event,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a press release. long-term warming trend,” he added.
Where does the term La Niña come from?
La Niña and El Niño are Spanish terms: La Niña means “little girl”, while El Niño means “little boy” or “child of Christ”. South American fishermen first noticed periods of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean in the 1600s, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The full name they used was “El Niño de Navidad” because El Niño usually peaks around December.
The entire natural climate cycle is officially known to climatologists as the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a see-saw dance of warmer and cooler seawater in the central ocean. Peaceful.
During La Niña events, trade winds are even stronger than usual, pushing more warm water toward Asia, NOAA said. Off the west coast of the Americas, upwellings are increasing, bringing cold, nutrient-rich water to the surface.