La Niña Has Developed: Does That Mean a Warm Winter?

Are you wondering what this winter has in store? While there’s no way to know for sure, there is something that might have an influence on whether this coming up winter will be warmer/colder than normal. That factor is a La Niña that has recently developed. This La Niña is forecast to last into early 2018 and maybe longer.

A La Niña forms in the equatorial Pacific Ocean between South America and Australia. La Niña is when the sea surface temperatures in that region are cooler than normal. Conversely, when they are warmer than normal it’s considered an El Niño.

If you’ve heard of either one of these, it’s likely because both typically influence Atlantic Hurricane Seasons, but if either is present during winter months, they typically influence weather patterns across the country. For more of an explanation on tropical impacts of a La Niña and El Niño click here: La Niña and El Niño

Images above courtesy of the National Weather Service

The presence of a La Niña for the Southeastern United States usually means a warmer and drier winter than normal. That’s not set in stone, but that is what the long term averages suggest.

La Nina Long Term Average
La Nina Long Term Average Temperatures
Long Term La Nina Average Rainfall Departure
Long Term La Nina Average Rainfall Departure

 

A La Niña was forecast to develop earlier this fall and when looking at the winter projections from NOAA, you can see the correlation with the forecast and a La Niña.

Long Range Temperature Forecast
Long Range Temperature Forecast
Long Range Precipitation Forecast
Long Range Precipitation Forecast

 

For more information on the emergence of this La Niña and a more detailed look at La Niña in previous years you can click the link here: Climate.gov

So far this year temperatures have been above normal and we are above normal when it comes to normal rainfall. Will La Niña continue to keep temperatures above normal and bring us closer to normal rainfall values? We will have to wait and see.

The image above can be found on the National Weather Service Mobile, AL webpage.

You can always get the latest forecast on WKRG.COM/Weather, the News 5 Free Weather App, and by following the First Alert Storm Team on Social Media.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s