On Nov. 10, NOAA scientists announced the arrival of La Niña, calling it “present, but weak.” It is predicted to be short-lived, possibly only lasting a few months. La Niña is associated with cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, which trigger changes in the atmosphere including jet stream patterns and storm tracks. This ocean-atmosphere coupling impacts the position of the Pacific jet stream influencing weather and climate patterns around the United States and the world.
“A weak La Niña is in place and is likely to remain for the winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The weak La Niña is likely to contribute to persisting or developing drought across much of the southern U.S. this winter.”