Drier winter predicted

2017 La Nina

A La Nina climate pattern has developed across the United States. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

HOLT, Fla., Nov. 12, 2017–The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a drier winter for the south due to a La Nina climate pattern.

The La Nina is likely to persist through the winter, according to an advisory issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center Nov. 9.

“Typical La Nina patterns during winter include above-average precipitation and colder-than-average temperatures along the northern tier of the U.S. and below-normal precipitation and drier conditions across the south,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

The weather pattern is expected to bring above-average temperatures across the southern two-thirds of the continental United States and below-average precipitation most likely across the entire southern U.S.

For this area, it means a warmer and drier winter than average, possibly like last year’s.

This is the second winter in a row with a La Nina, and like last year, forecasters expect this one to be weak.

“We predict [La Nina] will be weak and potentially short-lived, but it could still shape the character of the upcoming winter,” said Halpert.

Last year, this weather phenomenon extended from July 2016 to January 2017.

Scientists say there is a greater-than-50-percent chance La Nina will also be in place February through April 2018.

Meaning “little girl” in Spanish, La Nina is a natural ocean-atmospheric phenomenon marked by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean near the equator.

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