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La Nina to Persist Through Spring


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recorded a rise in December to February ambient temperatures in the southeast of approximately 5 F since the 1960’s. Whether this trend will persist will depend on the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).  This phenomenon is responsible for changes in the pattern of the Polar Jet stream that was responsible for the severe February freeze last winter.


Currently the ENSO is in a La Nina phase with cold surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. Computer models predict a swing to neutrality during Summer and ENSO will possibly cycle to an El Nino during mid-winter of this year.


A La Nina event is associated with warm and relatively dry conditions in the Southeast extending eastward over Gulf states; cold and wet condition in the Northwest; high rainfall over the Great Lakes and cold temperatures over the High Plains. U.S. weather patterns will depend on the path of the Polar Jet Stream as influenced by events in the equatorial Pacific.


Subscribers are referred to a comprehensive article on ENSO that can be accessed by entering El Nino in the search block.