Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Say Adios To La Nina

Date:
May 10, 2000
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
La Nina, the large area of cold water in the Pacific Ocean widely blamed for last summer's drought and often related to an increase in the number of hurricanes that make landfall, appears to be on its last legs. According to the latest spacecraft and ocean buoy observations, the La Nina has disappeared entirely in the eastern Pacific Ocean and is rapidly disappearing over the rest of the Pacific.

La Nina, the large area of cold water in the Pacific Ocean widely blamed for last summer's drought and often related to an increase in the number of hurricanes that make landfall, appears to be on its last legs. According to the latest spacecraft and ocean buoy observations, the La Nina has disappeared entirely in the eastern Pacific Ocean and is rapidly disappearing over the rest of the Pacific.

"The current lack of cold water support below the surface means that this La Nina will have a difficult time sustaining itself for much longer", according to David Adamec, a research oceanographer at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "As expected, the La Nina reached a maximum in intensity during January 2000 and has been waning ever since."

The spacecraft data have also shown that since March, La Nina's cold surface water is being replaced by water that is now 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal off the coast of South America. The current longevity of this "warm water patch" is now beginning to affect the atmosphere by weakening the trade winds there. These weakened winds are also very unfavorable for the persistence of La Nina conditions.

Should the current trends continue and the winds continue to weaken, there is potential for processes to be set in motion that will allow the warm water in the western Pacific to enhance and expand the surface warming that has already taken place in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Scientists will be carefully monitoring the situation as changes in tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures ultimately affect weather in many parts of the U.S.

Anomalous behavior of the tropical Pacific Ocean has been affecting weather patterns in the U.S. for the past three years. During the spring of 1997, warm waters off the coast of South America associated with the strongest El Nino on record led to changes in the storm tracks over the Pacific that slammed one storm after another into the west coast causing wide spread flooding there.

Suddenly during May of 1998, the warm waters of El Nino were replaced by the cold water phenomenon known as La Nina which has persisted till now. During last year's La Nina summer, most of the southern tier of the U.S. experienced drought in part due to the disruption of the weather patterns. Historically, another consequence of La Nina is an increase in the number of hurricanes that make landfall in the U.S. The two hurricanes that made landfall and caused the disastrous flooding along the North Carolina coast are consistent with that trend.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Scientists Say Adios To La Nina." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000510065204.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2000, May 10). Scientists Say Adios To La Nina. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000510065204.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Scientists Say Adios To La Nina." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000510065204.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red on Friday during a small eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in the Bardabunga volcano system. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins