La Niña Is Here. What Does That Mean For Our Winter?

La Niña, the cooler sibling of El Niño, is here.

The La Niña climate pattern — a natural cycle marked by cooler-than-average ocean water in the central Pacific Ocean — is one of the main drivers of weather in the U.S. and around the world, especially during the late fall, winter and early spring.

Federal government forecasters announced La Niña’s formation Thursday. The Climate Prediction Center says this year’s La Niña (translated from Spanish as “little girl”) is on the weak side, but it should still continue through the winter.

This is the second consecutive La Niña winter. Last year’s episode was unusually brief, forming in November and gone by February.

A typical La Niña winter in the U.S. brings cold and snow to the Northwest and unusually dry conditions to most of the southern tier of the U.S., according to the prediction center. The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic also tend to see warmer-than-average temperatures during a La Niña winter.

New England and the Upper Midwest into New York tend to see colder-than-average temperatures, the Weather Channel said.

Because La Niña shifts storm tracks, it often brings more snow to the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. “Typically La Niña is not a big snow year in the mid-Atlantic,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center. “You have a better chance up in New England.”

Texas A&M University agricultural economist Bruce McCarl said La Niña years are often bad for agriculture in Texas and the surrounding region. U.S. production of most crops — except corn — generally goes down in La Niña years, according to research by McCarl.

Globally, La Niña often brings heavy rainfall to Indonesia, the Philippines, northern Australia and southern Africa.

The entire natural climate cycle is officially known as the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a see-saw dance of warmer and cooler seawater in the central Pacific Ocean

Author: Mitch Battros

Mitch Battros is a scientific journalist who is highly respected in both the scientific and spiritual communities due to his unique ability to bridge the gap between modern science and ancient text. Founded in 1995 – Earth Changes TV was born with Battros as its creator and chief editor for his syndicated television show. In 2003, he switched to a weekly radio show as Earth Changes Media. ECM quickly found its way in becoming a top source for news and discoveries in the scientific fields of astrophysics, space weather, earth science, and ancient text. Seeing the need to venture beyond the Sun-Earth connection, in 2016 Battros advanced his studies which incorporates our galaxy Milky Way – and its seemingly rhythmic cycles directly connected to our Solar System, Sun, and Earth driven by the source of charged particles such as galactic cosmic rays, gamma rays, and solar rays. Now, “Science Of Cycles” is the vehicle which brings the latest cutting-edge discoveries confirming his published Equation.