facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

'La Nada' Pacific ocean patterns make forecasting difficult

Sept. 9, 2013 at 8:37 PM   |   Comments

PASADENA, Calif., Sept. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say satellite observation show a neutral near-normal sea-surface height condition dubbed "La Nada" has stubbornly persisted for 16 months.

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center said models suggest this pattern will continue through the spring of 2014.

"Without an El Nino or La Nina signal present, other, less predictable, climatic factors will govern fall, winter and spring weather conditions," climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif., said.

"Long-range forecasts are most successful during El Nino and La Nina episodes. The 'in between' ocean state, La Nada, is the dominant condition, and is frustrating for long-range forecasters. It's like driving without a decent road map -- it makes forecasting difficult."

Some of the wettest and driest winters of the last several decades have occurred during La Nada periods, scientists said.

"Neutral infers something benign, but in fact if you look at these La Nada years when neither El Nino nor La Nina are present, they can be the most volatile and punishing," Patzert said. "As an example, the continuing, deepening drought in the American West is far from 'neutral.'"

For the past several decades about half of all years have experienced La Nada conditions, compared with about 20 percent for El Nino and 30 percent for La Nina, a JPL release said Monday.

© 2013 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
Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police
2
Physicists teleport photon over 15 miles Physicists teleport photon over 15 miles
3
Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV
4
Major palm oil companies to halt deforestation Major palm oil companies to halt deforestation
5
Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback