The Coming La Nina – What does it mean?

Bill’s Blog

Posted: Jun 24, 2020 / 01:38 AM EDT Updated: Jun 24, 2020 / 01:38 AM EDT

The map above is the sea surface temperature anomaly (difference from average). Yellow, orange and red are warmer than average, blue is cooler than average.

You can see the streak of blue along the Equator west of South America. This is a La Nina pattern and there are a couple of things to note.

La Nina and the Hurricane Season

First, there is typically above average hurricane activity in the Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico and fewer hurricanes west of Mexico. You can also see warmer than average water temperatures from Africa to the Caribbean, which also point to a significant hurricane season. We just had Tropical Storm Dolly – already up to the letter “D”…though Dolly might not have gotten a name in the pre-satellite era.

Typical La Nina Winter

Also, La Ninas tend to produce drier than average weather in the Southern U.S. and wetter than average winter weather in the Pacific Northwest and northern Ohio Valley. Just this much would lead you to think that next winter will be at least a little cooler and snowier than last winter in Lower Michigan. It’s too early to make a winter forecast. We usually do that in late October.