Is La Niña?
Sick of the media hype--not to mention record rainfalls--generated by El Niño? Well he's being shoved out of the spotlight by La Niña, the weather equivalent of an opposite twin.
El Niño begins when trade winds die down and sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific begin heating up, eventually disrupting weather patterns all over the globe. Contrary La Niña, known as a "cold event," starts with increased trade winds and cooler-than-normal ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific. The temperature differences are only a few degrees Fahrenheit, but that's enough to redirect the subtropical jet stream. The jet stream channels storms northeast over the Hawaiian Islands, where they pick up moisture and warmth before heading into the Pacific Northwest.
Once over land, the jet stream connects with polar air streaming down from Canda and gives an extra wallop to winter snow storms in the northern plains and Atlantic states. The last La Niña, during the winter of 1995-96, was partly to blame for the flooding in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington state, and higher-than-normal snowfall in the northern plains and Atlantic states.
Want to learn more about La Niña?
La Niña home page at NOAA.
Wednesday, 15 July
Friday, 17 July
For a more detailed
schedule of the proceedings. Please click here.
Niña Summit Home page
© 1998 Exploratorium