By Alix Martichoux.
La Niña has been with us all year, and it’s not showing any sign of leaving soon.
The climate pattern is favored to continue through the summer, according to an updated outlook released this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There’s a 59% chance La Niña will stick around through August, and the odds are about even that it will continue past August into the fall (NOAA is giving it a 50-55% chance right now).
La Niña – and its opposite, El Niño – are characterized by the temperature of the Pacific Ocean. But they have major impacts on the weather we experience on land.
La Niña typically brings drier conditions to the southern half of the country and more precipitation to pockets of the northern half. Drought conditions often worsen, and that looks to be the case for most of the West this summer. The only exception is southern Arizona, which may see an active monsoon season.