According to NOAA, signals pointing to La Niña have developed and is likely to continue through the winter months. La Niña (Little Girl in Spanish) refers to an oceanic-atmospheric phenomena that reflects cooler than average ocean temperatures across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
El Niño (Little Boy in Spanish) refers to an oceanic-atmospheric phenomena that reflects warmer than average ocean temperatures in the same region over the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
Now that this climate pattern has set up, what impacts would this have on our weather as we head into the winter months back home here in Southern New England? Typically, we’re positioned right on the border of the Jet Stream.
This would increase the chances for precipitation as well as give us shots of cold air.
Scientists are giving a 75% chance of seeing La Niña conditions in place from December 2020 through February 2021.
What impacts would this have on the hurricane season? After all, we are currently in the peak of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and as activity continues to ramp up, we should expect this to continue through October and possibly even into November. Hurricane season officially ends on November 30th.
More hurricanes in the Atlantic would be a result of this pattern with warm waters and low wind shear present. These are key factors for favorable development of tropical cyclones.
Less hurricanes in the Pacific would be a result of this same pattern due to the colder waters and stronger wind shear. These prohibit tropical cyclone development and stabilize the atmosphere causing thunderstorms to not be able to form.
These are the odds of La Niña over the next several months. Notice, they’re broken down by the season or in 3 month increments. This model projects a 70% to 75% chance of La Niña occurring through the winter months.