Say hola to La Niña

El Niño’s meteorological sister is here and could alter your winter weather

map of temperature anomaly in central and eastern Pacific

Below-average temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific signify that a La Niña event has officially taken hold. The above map shows sea surface temperature anomalies for November 8.; Data: CPC­­

El Niño’s meteorological sister, La Niña, has officially taken over.

This year’s relatively weak La Niña is marked by unusually cool sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. That cold water causes shifts in weather patterns that can cause torrential downpours in western Pacific countries, droughts in parts of the Americas and more intense Atlantic hurricane seasons.

The event has about a 55 percent chance of sticking around through the upcoming Northern Hemisphere winter and is expected to be short-lived, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center reported November 10.

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