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NOAA announces La Nina is here, what does this mean?

La Niña has arrived and is expected to stay for the remainder of the winter. So what does this mean for winter 2021-22?

La Niña happens when sea surface temperatures are colder than normal in the tropical part of the Pacific Ocean.

This happens every few years and can last up to two years.


What’s makes it La Niña or El Niño?

Both things are phases of a climate cycle and refer to the changes in temperatures of the sea’s surface in the tropical Pacific.

Typically, El Niño means it’ll be a warmer winter and La Niña means a colder winter for the Northern United States.

Related: Farmer’s Almanac predicts cold, snowy winter: How long will it last?

So 2021-22 will see La Niña, what does this mean for winter?

The Southwest will see drier-than-normal weather. This will be true for the rest of the south as well.

The Pacific Northwest will be wetter than normal in fall and winter.

Winter will be warmer than normal in the South and colder than normal in the North, especially out West.


How often does La Niña occur and how long will it last?

Both El Niño and La Niña happen every 3-5 years.

Every La Niña on record in recent history began in 1903, 1906, 1909, 1916, 1924, 1928, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1988, 1995,1998, 2007, and 2010.

It will typically last 9-12 months.

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