La Niņa Information Sites
After nearly 15 months, El Nino has dissipated, only to be apparently replaced by La Nina. La Nina, meaning little girl, is in many ways the opposite of El Nino. It represents an abnormal cooling in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, accompanied by stronger easterly surface winds, and dominance of high atmospheric pressure. Resulting changes in convection, tropical rainfall, and jet stream patterns tend to create some climate anomalies in the tropics and to a lesser degree in some mid latitude locations.
The NOAA Climate Prediction Center forecasts suggest that a full fledged La Nina episode will develop by the fall, too late in the year to have any real impact on the 1998 growing season. As with El Nino most of the unusual climate tendencies seen in Minnesota during La Nina episodes are during the winter months, which tend to be colder than normal. Less is known about the overall climate impacts of La Nina episodes, because there have only been 15 episodes during the 20th century (compared to 23 El Nino episodes). We will undoubtedly hear more about La Nina during the coming year.
To learn more about La Niņa, see the informational site listed below:
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Last modified: June 10, 1998