Photo Credit: NOAA
Photo Credit: NOAA | Cover Photo: John Lemieux

After a lot of “waffling” over the summer and fall, NOAA is now saying that La Niña is indeed favored this fall/winter.

Related: Meteorologists No Longer Expecting La Niña This Winter

This news comes after the meteorological organization downgraded the chances of the event back in early September. However, according to the latest ENSO post, The La Niña watch is back in effect with a 70% chance of the phenomena affecting the western US this fall before those chances fall to 55% for the winter months.

“La Niña is favored to develop (~70% chance) during the Northern Hemisphere fall 2016 and slightly favored to persist (~55% chance) during winter 2016-17.” – NOAA

Monthly sea surface temperature in the Niño 3.4 region of the tropical Pacific compared to the long-term average for all moderate-to-strong El Niño years and the following year since 1950, showing how 2015/16 (black line) compares to other events

The most recent news from NOAA is all thanks to the atmosphere reacting to cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures. That interaction is most evident in how the jet stream and trade winds reacted to the cooling temperatures by speeding up and moving slightly further north.

“Atmospheric anomalies across the equatorial Pacific edged toward La Niña during September, with a stronger tendency toward La Niña late in the month” – NOAA

That said, La Niña events are seasonal by nature, meaning these conditions must persist for several months before this is considered a La Niña at all.

Average sea surface temperature during September, 2016, compared to the 1981-2010 average. figure, from CPC data. All resemblance to a lava lamp is accidental.

Find the entire ENSO post here: Antici…pation – October 2016 ENSO forecast

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