Thursday, May 19, 2016

Major switcheroo - Here comes La Nina!

February 2016
April 2016
We spent the fall of 2015 and most of the winter talking about El Nino and its historic status. There is a major shift taking place in the water temperatures, and we are just months away from La Nina. Look at the satellite images of water temperatures across the Pacific. Amazing to see the decline in warm water in just the last few months. The forecast is strongly leaning toward La Nina by late summer. If you aren't familiar, La Nina is the cooler than average water near the Equator in the Pacific. 

Here's another way to see the change taking place. A 3D image of the water temperatures shows the colder water working it's way up to the top of the ocean. What a major reversal! We don't know how strong the La Nina will be yet, but it's clear that this change is happening pretty fast.

So what does all of this mean for you? Well, there's plenty of time to watch and see what may happen, but one of the first things we might see (if La Nina sets in soon) is an uptick in the number of Atlantic hurricanes heading into August, September, and October. It's been over 10 years since a major hurricane has slammed into the US.

La Nina influence on hurricane season

The last La Nina we had was back in 2011/2012 when Kansas had some very hot summer weather and very little moisture (remember all of those 100 degree days we had?) We don't know if the summer of 2017 will be a scorcher because it's too far into the future to know. However, we do know these big swings in water temperatures certainly have a profound impact on weather patterns across our country (some that work in our favor and some that don't)

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