Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

La Nina May Soon Arrive

Date:
February 28, 2007
Source:
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
Summary:
On the heels of El Nino, its opposite, La Nina may soon arrive. In a weekly update, scientists at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center noted that as the 2006-2007 El Nino faded, surface and subsurface ocean temperatures have rapidly decreased.

NOAA satellite image of sea surface temperature anomalies in the Eastern Pacific Ocean taken Feb. 27, 2007, showing the development of La Niña conditions. (Credit: NOAA)
Credit: NOAA

On the heels of El Niño, its opposite, La Niña may soon arrive.  In a weekly update, scientists at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center noted that as the 2006-2007 El Niño faded, surface and subsurface ocean temperatures have rapidly decreased. Recently, cooler-than-normal water temperatures have developed at the surface in the east-central equatorial Pacific, indicating a possible transition to La Niña conditions.

Typically, during the U.S. spring and summer months, La Niña conditions do not significantly impact overall inland temperature and precipitation patterns, however, La Niña episodes often do have an effect on Atlantic and Pacific hurricane activity.

“Although other scientific factors affect the frequency of hurricanes, there tends to be a greater-than-normal number of Atlantic hurricanes and fewer-than-normal number of eastern Pacific hurricanes during La Niña events,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “During the winter, usual La Niña impacts include drier and warmer-than-average conditions over the southern United States."

“NOAA's ability to detect and monitor the formation, duration and strength of El Niño and La Niña events is enhanced by continuous improvements in satellite and buoy observations in the equatorial Pacific,” Lautenbacher added. “These observing systems include the TAO/TRITON moored and Argo drift buoys, as well as NOAA's polar orbiting satellites.”

La Niña conditions occur when ocean surface temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific become cooler than normal. These changes affect tropical rainfall patterns and atmospheric winds over the Pacific Ocean, which influence the patterns of rainfall and temperatures in many areas worldwide.

“La Niña events sometimes follow on the heels of El Niño conditions,” said Vernon Kousky, research meteorologist at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. “It is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can last up to three years. La Niña episodes tend to develop during March-June, reach peak intensity during December-February, and then weaken during the following March-May.

“The last lengthy La Niña event was 1998-2001, which contributed to serious drought conditions in many sections of the western United States,” said Douglas Lecomte, drought specialist at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

NOAA will issue the U.S. Spring Outlook on March 15, and its Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook in May. Both outlooks will reflect the most current La Niña forecast.

“While the status of El Niño/La Niña is of vital importance to our seasonal forecasts, it is but one measure we use when making actual temperature and precipitation forecasts,” said Kousky.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. "La Nina May Soon Arrive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228093721.htm>.
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. (2007, February 28). La Nina May Soon Arrive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228093721.htm
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. "La Nina May Soon Arrive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228093721.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers

California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — California's record drought is hurting honey supplies and raising prices for consumers. The lack of rainfall means fewer crops and wildflowers that provide the nectar bees need to make honey. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Species Found In Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Thousands Of Species Found In Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A U.S. team found nearly 4,000 species in a subglacial lake that hasn't seen sunlight in millennia, showing life can thrive even under the ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
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