Goodbye El Nino, Hello La Nina

- Wow, it seems that we have just gotten to know El Nino, now here comes La Nina to take its place. According to NOAA, one of the strongest El Ninos on record is shrinking and becoming shallower, meaning it’s most likely on its way out. Beneath the surface out in the Pacific, a large pool of cool water is making its way to the surface, a sign that La Nina is attempting a comeback. Check out the two images below. These NOAA graphics show the cool water, in blue, making its way to the surface, while the warm water, in red, is shrinking. The heat, or lack of heat, in this part of the Pacific will redirect the jet stream, and in return, redirect the cold of winter.

WHAT DOES LA NINA MEAN FOR OUR WEATHER?

Asking how the Upper Midwest will be affected by La Nina is a good question, although the effects will be way down the road, into next winter. If you recall, our last La Nina year was 2010-2011, and in December of 2010, the Twin Cities recorded its 5th largest snowfall ever.  This past winter was controlled by El Nino, and as a result, we were well behind on snowfall and had very few days gripped by arctic cold.

I guess what goes around comes around. It’s all about averages in the weather world. It’s a game of wait and see as we move through another weather year n Minnesota. 

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