La Niña: The next big weather pattern - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

La Niña: The next big weather pattern

La Niña Diagram (Source: NASA) La Niña Diagram (Source: NASA)
(KAIT) -

El Niño is a climate term that became very popular last year, as it was the cause for our mild winter season.

Not only did the dominant weather pattern keep us above average with temperatures, but it also did not allow for any significant winter weather here in Region 8.

As our seasons come and go, however, so do our weather patterns.

The Climate Prediction Center said, “La Niña is favored to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2016, with about a 75% chance of La Niña during the fall and winter 2016-2017.”

La Niña, El Niño’s counterpart, takes over when Pacific waters near the Equator are well below-normal and easterly trade winds strengthen.

Chief Meteorologist Ryan Vaughan and Meteorologist Rachel Coulter looked back at previous La Niña years and found a couple of interesting Region 8 winters associated with the pattern.

Although it is too far out to make predictions about the upcoming winter, we do know that these previous La Niña seasons brought us large temperature swings, gusty winds, severe weather and a couple of large winter weather events.

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