The end of La Nina

If you speak the language, this may interest you:

A transition from La Niña to ENSO-neutral conditions occurred during May 2011 as indicated by generally small sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies across the equatorial Pacific Ocean east of the Date Line (Fig. 1). The latest weekly Niño index values (Fig. 2) showed near-average SSTs in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (Niño-4 index of -0.2oC and Niño 3.4 index of -0.1oC), and above-average SSTs in the eastern equatorial Pacific (Niño-1+2 index of +0.7oC). The subsurface oceanic heat content anomalies (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean, Fig. 3) remained elevated, but relatively constant during the month, reflecting a large area of above-average temperatures at depth (Fig. 4). Consistent with other transitions to ENSO-neutral conditions, the atmospheric circulation anomalies continued to show some features consistent with La Niña, albeit at weaker strength. Convection was enhanced over eastern Indonesia and suppressed over the central equatorial Pacific (Fig. 5). Also, anomalous low-level easterly and upper-level westerly winds weakened but persisted over the central Pacific. Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect a transition to ENSO-neutral conditions, but with lingering La Niña-like atmospheric impacts, particularly in the global Tropics.

We don’t know exactly what language the Climate Prediction Center uses but translated to English, it means La Nina has ended, let normalcy reign.

La Nina has been blamed for hurricanes, tornadoes and — I’m theorizing here — the slow start of the Minnesota Twins.

The phenomenon may, the Weather Service says, have had something to do with May’s outbreak of tornadoes, including the ones that struck Minnesota.

La Nina gets blamed for a lot of things, some of which may be true. Of late it’s been tagged for the wildfires in Arizona. But if it’s to blame for the drought, there’s little indication the end of La Nina means things might improve there.

“This is not just happening on eastern New Mexico, it is the same over most of southwestern United States” said Ken Widelski, lead forecaster with the NWS in Albuquerque.

A drought continues in Texas. Farmers there are writing off the cotton crop. But in South Dakota, especially the western part of the state, they don’t want to see any more water.

Video of the Oahe Dam outflow (north of Pierre) must make Texas weep.

Don’t hurry back, La Nina.

  • boB from WA

    I for one am glad for the end of LaNina! Our weather here in the PNW has been cold and wet since last Oct. I am envious of those back in MN and environs that have warm/hot weather and sunshine.

  • texas t

    Here in the Texas panhandle we have only had roughly .17 inches of rain. Yes, POINT 1 7. We are down about 7-8 inches from normal. There is a significant drought here, as opposed to last year when we already had about 9 inches by this time. Possibly the worst drought since 1918. Wildfires are a constant burden, although they do not compare to Arizona, they’ve already taken over 50 homes. We need rain.