The end of a rare triple-dip La Niña could occur next spring, triggering climate changes across the globe.
For the past three years, cooler-than-average water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean have led to back-to-back La Niña years, but weather experts with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration believe there is a 71 percent chance of for the state to switch to signal neutral during the February-April Time Period.
Sea surface temperatures in critical parts of the eastern and central Pacific determine El Niño and Southern Oscillation status and whether La Niña, El Niño, or neutral conditions are under control.
Ocean warming in the central and eastern Pacific is expected to propel the ENSO state from its current La Niña state to a neutral state.
The neutral state is considered to be in control when the average water temperature anomalies are between 0.5 °C and -0.5 °C.
A prolonged period with readings above the 0.5°C threshold sends the world into El Niño, but forecasters believe seeing this type of weather pattern is not in the foreseeable future.
THE WINTER OF LA NIÑA WILL MEAN PARTS OF US WILL FEEL LIKE A TUNDRA BUT THE SNOWY WONDERLANDS COULD BE HARD TO FIND
Changing weather patterns won’t affect winter prospects as the season is already well advanced, but the transition from La Niña to neutral territory will mean changes in the weather across North America.
La Niña winter is already underway
The current La Niña has a high probability of extending into February, which means that the 2022-23 winter season will take place without a significant change in weather patterns.
Forecasters expect the northern tier of the country to be colder and possibly snowier than normal, while the south sees warmer-than-normal temperatures.
The FOX Weather Center said the contrast in temperatures and rainfall is pretty classic for a La Niña setup.
So far, much of the southern US has already experienced mild temperatures, and the Pacific Northwest has been stuck in an unsettled weather pattern, which is in line with expectations.
Due to the warmer air that is typically present during these events, studies have found that tornado outbreaks are more likely.
“Preliminary research indicates that La Niña corresponds to an especially active phase for tornadoes in the Deep South with a relatively high frequency of EF2 outbreaks or stronger tornadoes in the cold season,” the National Weather Service office in Jackson said. Mississippi.
But once the state turns from La Niña to neutral territory, there could be subtle changes for the country.
WHAT ARE THE EL NIÑO AND LA NIÑA WEATHER PATTERNS?
Neutral ENSO conditions are not known to produce very busy spring severe weather seasons
As the atmosphere moves out of La Niña and tries to head towards El Niño, the weather ingredients tend to be less conducive to continued bouts of severe weather.
The spring season, consisting of the months of March, April, and May, is typically the busiest period for severe weather, as the jet stream allows a lot of warm moisture to flow northward and aids in the instability needed for electrical storms.
Some storms can take advantage of vertical wind shear and become supercells with violent tornadoes.
Research by various private, government, and educational groups has found that ENSO-neutral conditions tend to produce tornado and hail events that are more in line with or slightly below average historical counts.
Some meteorologists believe that the ingredients are not normally as conducive during a neutral event as they are during an ENSO La Niña period.
IT’S NO LONGER THE TORNADO ALLEY OF YOUR GRANDPARENTS
Experts point out that there is enormous variability and that not all neutral events, La Niña or El Niño follow historical trends.
The US averages about 1,300 tornadoes each year, many of which are classified as EF-0 and EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.