La Nina Winter

I wrote last week about the interesting but unscientific prediction of a bad winter based on the acorn harvest which is one of many weather lore ideas. Someone contacted me to say they spotted “black deer” in their neighborhood and that predicts a bad winter. But on the more scientific but not always accurate side of predicting the weather, the NOAA has put out their notice on how La Niña may affect the winter of 2021-22 in America.

La Nina
A look at La Nina along the equator in the tropical Pacific Ocean in September 2021. (NOAA

In what is called a “La Niña winter,” the southern U.S. gets above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation. That could be bad news for the Southwest and areas dealing with a historic drought.

La Niña tends to have the opposite effect on the northern U.S., meaning lower than average temperatures with more snow and rain.

Even the NOAA folks add the caveat that a more exact forecast of temperature, snow, and rain isn’t possible until winter has arrived.

What is La Niña? It is when cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures along the equator indicate La Niña will develop. In September they saw it had developed and will extend through the second winter in a row according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. La Niña is a natural ocean-atmospheric phenomenon and is translated from Spanish as “little girl.”

In 2020, La Niña developed during the month of August and then dissipated in April 2021.

Published by


A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

Add to the conversation about this article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.