Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bring on La Nina

El Nino is over, fini, or at least so we're told by officials of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. The El Nino weather pattern is associated with unusual warming in the eastern area of the mid-Pacific. La Nina, the ugly stepsister, is triggered by cooling of the equatorial Pacific region.

La Nina spells possible trouble, particularly to southern parts of the US. It typically means more hurricanes in the Atlantic, fewer in the Pacific, less rain and more heat for the already drought-stricken South, and a milder spring and summer in the north, Lautenbacher said. The central plains of the United States tend be drier in the fall during La Ninas, while the Pacific Northwest tends to be wetter in the late fall and early winter.
La Nina conditions are typically milder than El Nino's heavy rainfalls and landslides.

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