facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

La Nina said to be bringing U.S. drought

Jan. 18, 2012 at 8:33 PM   |   Comments

PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The La Nina weather event, dubbed "the diva of drought," is peaking and increasing the odds the southwestern and southern United States will be dry, NASA says.

The space agency said sea surface height data from its Jason-1 and -2 satellites show the milder repeat of last year's strong La Nina has recently intensified.

This is the second consecutive year the satellites have measured lower-than-normal sea surface heights in the equatorial Pacific and unusually high sea surface heights in the western Pacific, a NASA release said Wednesday.

The height of the sea surface in a given area is an indicator of ocean temperature and other factors that influence climate, it said.

"Conditions are ripe for a stormy, wet winter in the Pacific Northwest and a dry, relatively rainless winter in Southern California, the Southwest and the southern tier of the United States," climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said.

"This La Nina could deepen the drought in the already parched Southwest and could also worsen conditions that have fueled recent deadly wildfires," he said.

Topics: NASA
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Wisconsin shuts down three wolf hunting zones, two remain open Wisconsin shuts down three wolf hunting zones, two remain open
2
Earth's magnetic field may soon flip, according to new data Earth's magnetic field may soon flip, according to new data
3
Harvard scientist startled by giant bird-eating spider on rainforest walk Harvard scientist startled by giant bird-eating spider on rainforest walk
4
Three Mars probes hide behind planet, avoid comet debris Three Mars probes hide behind planet, avoid comet debris
5
Soda drinkers may be slowly killing themselves Soda drinkers may be slowly killing themselves
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback