What is La Niña?

What?!  El Niño has a sister!

La Niña is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific, as compared to El Niño, which is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific.

La Niña 

Graphic courtesy of NOAA.

Previous Cold Phases:

    La Niñas occurred in 1904, 1908, 1910, 1916, 1924, 1928, 1938, 1950, 1955, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1988, 1995

Typical La Niña Impacts:

    La Niña tends to bring nearly opposite effects of El Niño to the United States wetter than normal conditions across the Pacific Northwest and dryer and warmer than normal conditions across much of the southern tier. The impacts of El Niño and La Niña at these latitudes are most clearly seen in wintertime. In the continental U.S., during El Niño years,  temperatures in the winter are warmer than normal in the North Central States, and cooler than normal in the Southeast and the Southwest. During a La Niña year, winter temperatures are warmer than normal in the Southeast and cooler than normal in the Northwest.

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