Author: Mary Knapp

La Niña is the latest buzz in weather news. Like the more familiar El Niño, it refers to the changes in conditions in the eastern Pacific Ocean. In the case of a La Niña this means colder than normal water. Like the more famous warm phase, depending on its strength, the impacts of a La Niña can be felt around the world. These include wetter than normal conditions over the western Pacific, wet conditions in southern Africa, and a mix of dry conditions on the west coast of South America coupled with wet weather on the eastern coast. For the United States, general it means wetter than normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest and drier than normal conditions in southern California. The further you get from the coast, however, the less direct and the less consistent the impacts. In Kansas, a La Nina generally means a milder and drier than normal winter.

Current La Niña status (Climate Prediction Center)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library