The end of La Niña has finally arrived, and the potential for El Niño to make its return could be on the way.
El Niño and La Niña are climate patterns influenced by the temperature change of the ocean in the central and eastern tropical Pacific.
Over the last three years, cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific have led to a “triple-dip” La Niña pattern, effecting our overall climate in the Southern Plains. We’ve experienced gruesome heat during the last two summers, very dry conditions, including an ongoing drought dominating the southwest United States, as well as, an extremely active hurricane season.
Recent guidance/weekly measurements of sea surface temperatures concludes the waters in the central and eastern Pacific are warming, compared to the long-term cooler temperatures measured by La Niña, resulting in the transition into an ENSO-neutral pattern this spring.
What Does This Mean for Central Texas?
An ENSO-neutral pattern refers to the timeframe in which El Niño and La Niña are not present.
The latest guidance indicates El Niño to take shape of our global weather pattern heading into late summer and early fall. During fall, a strong Pacific jet stream and amplified storm track associated with a northward extending polar jet stream favors above normal precipitation and below normal temperatures for the southern United States.
In summary, La Niña has ended and ENSO-neutral conditions will persist through the rest of spring and summer of 2023. The ever changing conditions of our global climate pattern will be closely monitored.