La Nina Summit
What 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?
Visit the
La Niña home page at NOAA

Audio Archive

(You will need the RealPlayer)

Wednesday, 15 July




"Climate Change"

Thursday, 16 July





Friday, 17 July


"Group Sessions"

"Where do we go from here?"

For a more detailed schedule of the proceedings. Please click here.

Live@The Exploratorium

Daily Dispatches

Exploratorium science correspondent Mary K. Miller covered the La Niña Summit. Her dispatches appear below.

Dispatch 1 - July 15, 1998

Dispatch 2 - July 16, 1998

A new book
from the Exploratorium!

Watching Weather
Watching Weather
A Low Pressure Book About High Pressure Systems and Other Weather Phenomena.

Click here for more info.

Related Sites

La Niña Summit Home page
The official page of the La Niña Summit. Find out about the participants, view the agenda and find out more about the organizations sponsoring the summit.

NCAR Home page
The home page of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, where the La Niña Summit is being held.

United Nations University
Information about the United Nations University, one of the sponsors of the La Niña Summit.

The United Nations University
Environmental and Societal Impacts Group

RealAudio Server Provided by

1998 Exploratorium