alpine flowers at Grey Rock

Thursday, September 16, 2010

La Nina vs. El Nino

The Climate Prediction Center has posted an advisory for the return of La Nina.  Until the summer, we were under the influence of an El Nino effect.  These natural occurring cycles stem from ocean temperatures in the Nino 3.4 region of the equatorial Pacific from 165West to 120West.  When the waters in that area rise to .5C above the historical average, an El Nino pattern sets up.  If .5C below, La Nina. For the last month or so, the temps have cooled and thus the advisory. The dominant storm track will be from the North to Northwest and pick up some of the Polar Jet stream to make for wetter and cooler months ahead. The more the temperature in the ocean changes, the longer the effect.  NOAA will let us know as the pattern persists and the temperatures remain below average in the waters at the equator what will be in store for the Pacific Northwest area.

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