Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Forecasters say La Nina may bring hot and dry summer

...We've already had some violent outbreaks of assorted weather varieties early this season, from tornadoes in the South and floods, hail and fire storms across the Southwest, and now there is one more weather concern to consider as forecasters ramp up speculation over whether a La Nińa will form as the current El Nińo begins to fade once summer arrives.  La Nińa systems usually means hot and dry days with little or no rain, a condition that producers know well after the multiyear drought at the beginning of the decade. National Weather Service (NWS) climate specialists are keeping an eye on possible changes over the Pacific Ocean where cooling is expected to develop by summer, a certain sign that a La Nińa weather pattern may be forming and could result in extreme heat and an abnormally dry outlook for the peak of the summer season.  NWS forecasters say it is not unusual for a La Nińa event to follow on the heels of an El Nińo system. The following table illustrates the relationship between the two opposing events:
El Nińo          La Nińa
1982-83       1984-85
1987-88       1988-89
1994-95       1995-96
1997-98       1998-99
2006-07      2007-08
2009-10      2010-11
(Source: U.S. National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center)
If the same holds true for this year, above-normal-temperatures and lower-than-normal rains could prove to dry out much of North America by July, causing stress on the farm and ranch after two years of respite from drought...more

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